My name is Lauren Fisher and I am one of the 2020 recipients of the ILA Local 1408 Scholarship Fund. I am so grateful for this scholarship as it will help me to pursue my goal of becoming an attorney. I will continue to work hard and strive for what I want to achieve and ILA has definitely played a huge part in my academic success. Thank you once again for this scholarship.

Lauren Fisher

I just wanted to say thank you for the amazing opportunity and gift of this scholarship. After getting into my dream school a few months ago, I was elated and yet totally scared. Dreams are not often cheap and I knew I would have to work to make it possible. This scholarship helped me reach that dream. Even through a pandemic, my first semester at U of Rochester was beyond my expectation. I made friends from around the world and challenged myself to actively engage in the community. I became more confident in who I am and who I want to be. From cheesecake obsessed friends to the brimming stacks of Rush Rhees Library, I have loved every minute there. I can honestly say I have never been happier than these past few months. I cannot thank you enough.

Graham Murphy

Greetings I am Alexia Jackson, a first-year pre-physical therapy student, and I am so grateful to have received the ILA scholarship, it has been so beneficial in contributing to my collegiate career. The ILA scholarship has been a tremendous help specifically regarding my book finances for the 2014/2015 fall & spring semesters. I never once had to come out of pocket, and I would consider myself quite lucky because of that. Since I did not have to come out of pocket for my books, I was able to excessively succeed in my classes because I was well prepared with all the materials that I needed, especially my books. While in school, I was able to join a “Housing Hall Government”, and I currently serve as the 2014-2015 treasurer. As a future aspiration, I hope to officially join the Student Government Association of FAMU and serve as the vice president.

Alexia Jackson

The ILA Local 1408 scholarship has been a great deal of help to my college career. The scholarship has helped with tuition costs as well as book fees which in turn takes a lot stress off my mother. The fact that my mother doesn’t have to worry about paying for a semester allows me to focus on and succeed in my courses. I am very grateful to the ILA Local 1408 Scholarship Fund for giving me an opportunity each year to further achieve my dreams in becoming a marine biologist. Each year the scholarship gets me a step closer to accomplishing that goal and for that I am thankful.

Adrian Thompson

The ILA Scholarship has allowed me to accomplish thus far. While the pell grant takes care of some of my tuition, the ILA scholarship helps to take care of my personal challenges. In my major, my entire life is dedicated to theatre, and while maintaining an A average in my general education classes, it’s hard to find a job that can work along with the busy schedule I have. Having just been recently accepted into UCF and their BFA acting program, the grant has helped me to move to Orlando with a place to stay and helped to start my life working in the field that I love. I’ve been in three shows so far, and currently working on two this semester. Hopefully living here and getting the training I need will lead me to working on Broadway, or in television, and maybe even movies all over the world. I really want to thank ILA for helping me to better my future.

Waneka Leary

I am so grateful that I received this scholarship. It helped my become more closer to my dreams and aspirations. I am currently attending the University of Central Florida, and I am a Nursing-Pending student, with a minor in Business. After I finish this 2015 Spring Semester I will receive my minor in Business. I want to continue to purse my dreams as a Physician’s Assistant through the Nursing program here at UCF.

Shanikqua Johnson

The ILA scholarship has made a great contribution to my education. The money allowed me to buy textbooks. Textbooks can be very expensive, so I am thankful to have the ILA scholarship. The scholarship also went towards some of my tuition, which also helped a lot. An accomplishment of my first semester as a freshmen was earning a B or higher in all of my classes. And I hope to do just as well or even better in my future classes. I aspire to become a successful pharmacist, and I know the ILA scholarship will help me reach my goal.

Sydney Jennings

My name is Ashley Simmons. I hail from the sunshine state of Jacksonville, Florida. Since high school, I have always been fond of international issues and cultures.  In May 2014, I received my Bachelors of Arts degree in Politics and Justice Studies with Honors from Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina.  At Claflin, I participated in a plethora of student activities from co-chairing the first women’s conference to serving as Vice-President for Claflin Young Democrats of America. In my free time, I enjoy reading international affairs issues, traveling, exercising and volunteering.

The International Longshoremen Association (ILA) Local 1408 helped to pay my flight to Rome, Italy in summer 2012. From there, I achieved my high school dream by traveling to Rome for a fall Department of State internship at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations (USUN) Food and Agricultural Agencies. My first time abroad turned in to a permanent career in international affairs. In spring 2013, I was named a Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow.

Then, again, the ILA Local 1408 awarded me enough funds in summer 2013 to invest in academic and personal related expenses. I am beyond thankful for all the financial help from the ILA Local 1408 of Jacksonville, FL.

Post-graduation, I will intern this summer at the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of Populations, Refugees, and Migration. Afterward, I will matriculate at The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University for their Masters in International Relations program. I hope to one-day become a Consular Officer in the U.S. Foreign Service.

Ashley Simmons

I was blessed to be a recipient of the International Longshoremen Association Scholarship this past year. I currently attend University of South Florida and my cost of attendance is $20,000. Without taking out loans I will not be able to afford that expense. Scholarships like International Longshoremen Association Scholarship, give students like me a chance to pursue our dreams and get a higher education, without having to go deep in debt. I really enjoyed my first year at USF. I have participated in numerous clubs such as Black Student Union and I even write for an online magazine called HerCampus! I am very thankful to be able to attend such a wonderful school and to finance my way with scholarships instead of student loans.

Maiya White

My Name is Jennifer Laliberte and I am a junior at the University of Central Florida. I graduated from Santa Fe College in Gainesville with my Associate’s Degree in Elementary Education. I just recently moved to Orlando to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Commination Sciences and Disorders. I plan to graduate in the fall of 2015, and then continue to pursue my Master’s Degree to become a Speech Language Pathologist. During the past three years I have been lucky enough to have been offered and accepted the ILA Scholarship. With the increasing cost of living, and higher education, it has been such a blessing. It is so nice to have the financial help and knowing that I earned it makes it that much better.

Jennifer Laliberte

The ILA Scholarship has helped me in so many ways to alleviate some of the financial burdens and stress many college students face. Attending an HBCU I recognize the importance of securing a great education and the ILA Scholarship over the past 4 years was a consistent rock that I depended upon. Many of my peers were not afforded the opportunity to focus on their studies and college goals because they were either working to make ends meet or constantly stressed about tuition cost, books, dorm fees, lab fees, etc. With the help of the ILA Local 1408 scholarship I was able to receive “Deans List” honors every semester for 4 years, I was inducted into 5 honors organizations, I have 2 Chemistry Publications, because in my spare time I could conduct research (cancer) and I have another publication currently under review. I was awarded an IREU European Chemistry fellowship that will allow me to live in Lillie, France for 6 months as a Chemistry graduate student performing additional research as I aspire to find a cure for cancer.

Erika McClain

Nathan Byram is a graduate of Providence High School in Jacksonville, Florida and was a member of the varsity football and basketball teams (State Champion 2010). He was also an active member of Youth Leadership Jax and a proud 4-year recipient of the ILA Local 1408 Scholarship award (2009 – 2013). Nathan graduated from Lee University in Cleveland, TN. May 10, 2014 with a degree in Business. He has accepted a position at EverBank and will return to Jacksonville in June ’14. Currently on a mission trip in Asia, Nathan is very active in community outreach and aspires to give back to those less fortunate. He is a remarkable young man and attributes his college success to hard work, persistence, a strong faith in God and the support of family and the ILA Local 1408 Scholarship Fund. He would like more business professionals and corporations to contribute to the ILA Local 1408 Scholarship Fund as they make a significant difference in higher education through scholarship awards.

Nathan Byram

From 2008 to 2012, I received the ILA Local 1408 scholarship. I admit the essays were hard and making sure I met the community service and gpa sometimes felt impossible along with meeting my track-n-field and academic course load at Cornell University, but I had to make it happen, because my mom was not taking NO for an answer. The fact her son had beat the African-American male statistic of not just graduating from high school, but now attending Cornell University would not have been possible without the financial help I received from the ILA Local 1408 scholarship fund. College tuition, textbooks, housing and food gets higher every year, and at Cornell it was more than $65,000 a year. A lot of college students try to cut cost by working part-time or not eating (yes they don’t eat) but this causes them to be weak, makes it hard to concentrate and results in bad grades, depression and sometimes suicide. Two students committed suicide while I was at Cornell due to the pressures and stress of not being able to meet their obligations either academically, financially or both. Sometimes the pressure of not letting your family down and yourself is bigger than life itself. For me the ILA scholarship was a blessing from God and as long as I kept my end of the bargain, ILA kept theirs, and every year they did. Knowing I could depend on this scholarship was reassuring and helped me make it through the school of Hotel Management. After graduation I returned to Jacksonville as a “Manager Trainee” for Hyatt Corporation. Ironically in 2012 the annual ILA Scholarship Award Banquet was held in my hotel, and I was asked to be one of the key-note speakers for the occasion. When I told my boss, he came down to the banquet room to listen to what I had to say to more than 30 new scholarship recipients, and more than 100 guests. I’ve been with Hyatt now for 5 years as a Manager on my way to GM, and I am soliciting Hyatt Corporation as a sponsor for the ILA Local 1408 scholarship. I also encourage all businesses large and small to support this fund, because the ILA Local 1408 scholarship fund is making a difference.

Kenneth L. McClain, III

The ILA Scholarship has allowed me to stay active in the community and remain on track academically at the University of Florida. I am currently involved in the Black Student Union, as the director of Excellence Scholars Program, a high school leadership development program. I also serve on the Board of Manager for our student union (Reitz Union) and Board of Directors for our Student Health Care Center. I was recently appointed as a voting member of Student Community Relations Advisory Board by the City Commission of Gainesville. I founded a non-profit organization in August 2014, Gainesville Reads Incorporated, that I plan to continue growing while I live in Gainesville. I volunteer weekly at Shands Gainesville, with a palliative care program for patients in the hospital, with chronic illnesses. This scholarship has provided an equal playing field for me and allowed me to have a stable foundation to grow from. My future goals are to get involved with research on hospital programming within Shands, impact the UF student body by being a senator within Student Government and expanding the reach of my non-profit organization, Gainesville Reads Incorporated. After I graduate from UF, I plan to go to either Georgetown University or Cornell University to receive a Master’s in Health Administration and a PhD in Health Services. Eventually, I hope to be the CEO of a hospital and continue my non-profit organization.

Katelynd Todd

Sheran Fowler is a native of Jacksonville, Fl. and was a featured member of Who’s Who Among American High School Students. Her academic achievements and outstanding community service played a major role in being awarded the ILA Local 1408 Sixth Annual College Scholarship (2000-2001). Sheran graduated from the University of North Florida in 2002 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Banking & Finance. After working in the Banking Industry for a year she realized her passion was accounting. She later pursued a career as an accountant gaining over 10 years’ experience in the public sector. Sheran is now part owner of Accounting & Financial Strategies, LLC a local accounting firm located on the Northside of Jacksonville. Accounting & Financial Strategies, LLC caters to Non Profit Organizations as well as For-Profit Companies throughout the city and surrounding counties. One of her biggest accomplishments was providing accounting services to the ILA Local 1408, the same union body that conferred their 6th annual scholarship award to her in 2001. In addition to providing day-to-day accounting services for the Local membership, Sheran was invited to become a member of the ILA Local 1408 Scholarship Board of Directors in 2013 and has played a significant role in ensuring the funds continued success. Sheran is grateful to be in a position to give back to the same organization that invested in her. As a result of receiving the 2001 ILA Local 1408 Scholarship, Sheran is now afforded the opportunity to serve her community by investing in college students, with the hope of gaining a bigger return in the future, “Paying it Forward”.

Sheran Fowler

Ashley Irisha Goggins is a 2012 graduate from Stetson University College of Law where she received both a Juris Doctor and an MBA. She is the proud daughter of Alphonso Goggins and a 4-year recipient (2004 – 2008) of the ILA Local 1408 Scholarship award. She is a public defender in the Felony Division, 4th Judicial Court, serving Clay, Duval and Nassau Counties. Ms. Goggins started her climb to the public defender’s office as a volunteer with Legal Aid and Guardian ad Litem, she is passionate about juvenile justice issues. A Jacksonville native, she earned a B.S. in Psychology in ’09 from Florida A&M University. Ashley appreciates being a recipient of the ILA Local 1408 Scholarship award primarily because it was awarded to her from her community and it prompted her to give back as well, which is why she elected to serve her community as a Public Defender.

Ashley Goggins

I am Darian Corrao and I am attending the University of North Florida, majoring in Graphic Design. For me, the ILA scholarship has done so much. It has allowed me to continue my education and thrive in school. Education is one of the most important things in my life. I want to be successful and be able to support myself in the future, and this is the first step in that process. Being the oldest of 4 and coming from a lower income family, the scholarship has helped me pay for my education, which I must pay for myself. It also has allowed me to be able to pursue my education and for that I am so grateful. I thank the ILA Local 1408 scholarship fund and the people that continue to give money to it. Thank you so much.

Darian Corrao

My family is one of many whom were affected by Congress’s decision to limit financial aid to college students, making it difficult to pay for schooling in this economy. I am so grateful to the ILA Foundation for your contribution towards my education. The Art Institute of Jacksonville is providing the principles necessary for success in my chosen career. So far I have made the Dean’s List twice, and hope to make the President’s List this term. Also I have had perfect attendance since day one. My artwork has been featured throughout the halls of the institution, and sold to some of the students and faculty. An instructor once told me, “You’re just a diamond in need of polishing.” So thank you, ILA, for helping this diamond shine!

Paul Kellam