Daughter Of Local 701 Member Awarded IAM Scholarship

Emily with her father Steve (left) and Business Agent Bob Lessmann (right)
Emily with her father Steve (left) and Steve’s Business Agent Bob Lessmann (right)

Emily Gajda, the daughter of long time member Steve Gajda of Joe Rizza Ford in Orland Park, IL, was recently awarded a scholarship by the Machinists Union.  Emily entered the scholarship competition after learning of the opportunity on the Local 701 website. “College is expensive these days,” said Emily, “we wanted to take advantage of every opportunity that we could.”

The annual scholarship competition is open each year to members of the IAM and their children throughout the United States and Canada.  The IAM Scholarship Fund, which is used exclusively to make possible these awards, was established by the delegates of the 1960 IAM Grand Lodge Convention and is funded by donations from Local and District Lodges. Award recipients are chosen by an independent selection committee composed of four qualified educators from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

As a recipient of an IAM Scholarship, Emily is entitled to receive $1,000 for each full year of college until the requirements of a Bachelor’s degree have been met, but not beyond a period of four years.  An amount that I’m sure any college bound student would love to put towards their tuition billsemily_gajda.

Emily attended Victor J. Andrew High School in Tinley Park, IL where she graduated with a 4.5 GPA.  Not too shabby for a young lady who was as involved as she was in school.  While attending Andrew H.S., Emily played softball, was the Secretary of The National Honors Society, a member of the Spanish Honors Society, a member of the Student Council, a member of the Senior Class Council, and a member of the Pep Club.  All while maintaining a 4.5 GPA in all advanced placement classes! “I’m so thankful for all the opportunities and experiences I had in High School,” said Emily.

“If a parent was looking for a golden child, she is it!” said Emily’s father Steve, “we are so proud of our daughter.  And who wouldn’t be?”

IMG_6527Steve and Emily attended the June membership meeting where Emily was recognized by the membership for her amazing accomplishments.  After the meeting, I had an opportunity to talk to Emily and Steve and was amazed at what an amazing young lady she was. I found it particularly impressive that during her entire 4 years at Andrew H.S. she didn’t miss a single day of school, perfect attendance all four years. (She even showed up on Sr. ditch day!) That takes some dedication. “Only 6 out of the over 500 students in her graduating class had perfect attendance, that really says something about her,” said Steve, “she is the type of person that if she wants something, she will achieve it, I have seen it over the years in her sports and academics.”

Emily will be attending the University of Iowa this fall where she will be studying to be a pharmacist. “I appreciate beyond words the opportunity to be awarded this scholarship by the Machinists Union,” said Emily, “it will definitely get put to good use.”

Be sure to keep an eye on the Local 701 Website when we announce the 2017 scholarship competition when it opens. Local 701 has a long history of our members and their children being awarded scholarships through the Annual IAM Scholarship Competition.

(c) 2016 Automobile Mechanics' Local 701 IAM&AW