AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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Robert G. Porter Scholars Program

The program offers four 4-year, $8,000 post-secondary scholarships to students who are dependents of AFT members, as well as 10 one-time $1,000 grants to AFT members to assist with their continuing education.

Student Scholarships

To honor Robert G. Porter, the secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of Teachers from 1963 to 1991, the AFT awards four scholarships of $8,000 each to accomplished high school students who show outstanding service to their community and an understanding of the role unions can play to create a more just society. Porter was a union activist who dedicated his life to championing the rights of working people, promoting civil rights and ensuring that the union was a vehicle for fostering the professionalism of our members.

Scholarship Eligibility

  • The AFT Robert G. Porter Scholars Program for high school students is open to graduating high school seniors.
  • Applicants must have at least one parent or legal guardian who is an AFT member.
  • The AFT member whose child or legal dependent applies for a scholarship must be a member in good standing for at least one year.
  • Children or legal dependents of AFT national, state or local union staff are not eligible for this scholarship opportunity.

Scholarship Award

  • Awards are based on academic achievement, commitment to community services and school-related activities, demonstration of leadership, work experience, recommendations, special talents and skills, an essay and a commitment to advancing the interests of working people and building unions.
  • The $8,000 scholarship award is paid out over a four- to six-year period, depending on the length of time the recipient will use to obtain a degree. Customarily, the scholarship is paid out through four $2,000 annual payments to the recipient and/or the higher education institution attended by the recipient.
  • The scholarship must be used within six years of the date the award is made.
  • To continue to receive the scholarship after the first year, recipients are expected to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 as reflected in the annual transcript required by the AFT Robert G. Porter Scholars Program. Further, the recipient must show continuing enrollment and satisfactory progress toward a degree.

Notification of Award Recipients

  • The AFT Robert G. Porter Scholars Program brings together education experts, labor leaders and other experts to review the completed applications and select the recipients.
  • You will be automatically notified when you have completed the application process. This notification constitutes your receipt.
  • All scholarship winners will be notified by June 30, 2014.

Required Documents

  • Secondary School Report—Authorization for Release Information (completed and signed by the appropriate school official with transcript attached)
  • Applicant Reference Sheet (two completed references)
  • Individual Sheets (on separate attached sheets, you will describe your school-related activities, community services, leadership and special talents)
  • Personal Statement
  • Essay

Member Grants

To honor Robert G. Porter, the secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of Teachers from 1963 to 1991, the AFT awards implementation grants of $1,000 each to 10 accomplished AFT members who seek to implement ideas for their union about the role union members can play in collectively reclaiming the promise of a more just society for all. Porter was a union activist who dedicated his life to championing the rights of working people, promoting civil rights and ensuring that the union was a vehicle for enabling the growth of members' ability to achieve justice.

Grant Eligibility

  • The AFT Robert G. Porter Scholars Program for AFT members is open to any AFT member in good standing who has been a member for at least one year.
  • AFT teachers, healthcare professionals, PSRPs, higher education faculty, early childhood educators and public employees are welcome to submit applications.
  • AFT national, state and local union staff are not eligible to apply.

Grant Award

  • Awards are based on the member's ideas for reclaiming the promise of a just society for all as set out in an essay and implementation strategy. The essay may include a statement of need, including the applicant's own professional development, but will be judged based on the member's ideas, the viability of the plan, and the member's commitment to advancing the opportunity for reclaiming the promise of a just society for all.
  • The $1,000 one-time grant should be used within a reasonable amount of time to implement the proposal.
  • If personal professional development is part of the proposal, the AFT Robert G. Porter Scholars Program grant money may be used only at institutions that are accredited by an agency approved by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • The grant may be used to cover the costs associated with putting into practice the member's ideas for what must be done to reclaim the promise of a just society for all.

Required Information

  • Use of the grant
  • Essay

Notification of Award Recipients

  • The AFT Robert G. Porter Scholars Program brings together noted academics, labor leaders and other experts to review the completed applications and select the recipients.
  • You will be automatically notified when you have completed the application process. This notification constitutes your receipt.
  • All winners will be notified by June 30, 2014.