Now in its eleventh year, the PROTEC17 scholarship program has awarded over $60,000 in scholarships to members’ dependents to help in their pursuit of a higher education. We are proud to announce that our 2022 scholarship winners are Sofia Tosoni and Nalani Young. 

Each year, the PROTEC17 scholarship is open to the children, grandchildren or dependents of members as they enter or continue their studies in college or technical school. There are two $3,000 awards – one for an incoming freshman, and one for a continuing college student. Scholarship applications were accepted through July 31. In the application, students are asked to demonstrate their academic achievements, educational goals, and extracurricular activities. In addition, applicants submit letters of recommendation, and a labor-related essay that is judged by two external labor educators. 

Nalani Young is the daughter of City of Seattle member Danny Young, and is our graduating high school student winner. She began her studies in Applied Human Physiology at Chapman University in California this fall, and is taking courses in Biology, Chemistry and Math. Her ultimate goal is to become a pediatric nurse practitioner. 

“As an active person I’ve been injured and have gone to the hospital many times in my life,” Young said in her application. “Every time, I am surrounded by such comforting, educated, and dedicated nurses and staff. Whether it’s going to the hospital for my annual checkup or for my ACL reconstruction surgery, nurses have been by my side, making me feel supported every step of the way. Inspired by their stories and kind words, I realized that I want to make an impact on others’ lives like they have on mine.” 

Sofia Tosoni, daughter of City of Portland member Anne Marie Tosoni, is entering her sophomore year at Stanford University this fall, where she’s studying Bioengineering and Science Communication. For the last two summers, Tosoni has volunteered at the Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute, where she’s been fascinated by the world of genetic research and how best to communicate new findings to the public. She hopes to attend medical school after graduation. 

In her scholarship essay, she reflected on the recent movement of graduate students unionizing for better working conditions in her hometown of Portland, Oregon, and on the benefits she’s received for having grown up in a union family. “Graduate students everywhere are fighting back through union activism,” said Tosoni. “I plan to join the movement, upholding union values of justice, growth, respect, and pride throughout my academic career and beyond.” 

Both students expressed their extreme gratitude to PROTEC17 members for supporting this award and for helping them and their families to ease the financial burden of a college education. Thank you to all of our applicants, and best of luck this school year!