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UDW member’s son receives JOHNS scholarship

Our union was there for IHSS provider and UDW member Traci Getsinger-Elam of Oceanside when she needed more IHSS hours for her son, Jared. So when her oldest son Jeremiah got accepted at UC San Diego, she reached out for help again—and UDW connected her to the organizations in her area offering scholarships for students from working families like ours.

Now, we are pleased to announce that Jeremiah Getsinger is the recipient of a $2,500 scholarship from the John S. Lyons Foundation! Jeremiah is majoring in Electrical Engineering at UCSD and the scholarship is a much-needed—and much deserved—helping hand for Jeremiah and his family.

The John S. Lyons Foundation, known as the JOHNS, was founded 30 years ago in memory of the late Johnny Lyons, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 36 in San Diego. Lyons was a very civic-minded leader who believed strongly in the ideal that organized labor should be committed to the communities we live in.

Jeremiah is a great example of that ideal. A 2020 graduate of Rancho Buena Vista’s challenging International Baccalaureate program, Jeremiah has enough college course credits to begin UCSD this fall as a sophomore. But along with his demanding studies and time spent exploring his interests in science and technology, Jeremiah also had the added responsibilities of growing up in an IHSS family. Helping his mother care for his younger brother has long been a part of his life, and his mother says that added responsibility has given him a maturity beyond his years that will serve him well in college and beyond.

And, like many siblings in IHSS families, Jeremiah has learned empathy from caregiving.

“He’s always helping out his friends,” Traci says, explaining that caring for his brother helped Jeremiah learn not to overreact to troubling behavior without finding out what’s behind it.

“He’ll say ‘maybe they are having a hard time’. He has a high tolerance for other kids’ challenges. He can always see the other side.”

Congratulations, Jeremiah! Our UDW entire family wishes you—and all our students navigating this challenging school year—the very best.

If you would like to learn more about community resources for students, get involved in your union! Call 1-800-621-5016 to find your county and learn more about what UDW can do for you and your family.