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Union Family Member Aspires to Become Orthopedic Surgeon; Union Plus Scholarship Application Deadline Is Jan. 31

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Makaelah Murray, a student athlete at Howard University in Washington, D.C., is among the 2020 Union Plus Scholarship winners. Murray is a biology major at Howard and a member of the women’s soccer program. She graduated with honors from San Joaquin Delta College and aspires to become an orthopedic surgeon to help other athletes like her recover from their injuries. While at Delta, she completed, with distinction, the Leadership Education for Aspiring Physicians (LEAP) program at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Murray is involved in The Grassroot Project, through which NCAA varsity student-athletes provide health literacy and social empowerment programs to under-resourced D.C.-area teens.

Murray’s father is a member of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) in California, where he also serves as his union’s local vice chairman. Murray said: “Seeing my father advocate for the salary or position of another employee so faithfully because he cares for them has taught me I need to do the same in my field of work. Not only has the union taught me the importance of advocacy but it has also shown me how the brotherhood created transcends beyond the workplace. I’ve met many people from my father’s job who we now consider family.”

Since starting the scholarship program in 1991, Union Plus has awarded more than $4.8 million in educational funding to more than 3,200 union members, spouses and dependent children. Union Plus Scholarship awards are granted to students attending a two-year college, four-year college, graduate school, or recognized technical or trade school. Visit for applications and benefit eligibility. The application deadline is Jan. 31.