2 Union Plus Scholarships Go to Students From Council 57 Families

Union Plus recently awarded $170,000 in scholarships to 108 students representing 34 unions, and two of the winners were from families representing AFSCME Council 57.

Kim Adam, of Santa Cruz, was awarded a $1,000 scholarship. Adam’s father, Detlef Adam, is a member of AFSCME Local 101. Deaira Dorsey Brown, of Palo Alto, was also awarded a $1,000 scholarship. Her mother, Denise Dorsey, is a member of AFSCME Local 2620.

This year’s group of scholarship recipients includes university, college and trade or technical school students from 31 states plus the District of Columbia.

“The entire team here at Union Plus is so proud to be able to offer this scholarship program to help union family members offset the high cost of college education,” Union Plus President Mitch Stevens said. “This year’s group of 108 winners are all incredibly talented, motivated and deserving students taking an important step to further their education and build the foundation for future success.”

Kim is a nursing major at San Diego State University. She expects to complete her bachelor’s degree in 2021, after which she plans to specialize as an emergency room nurse before pursuing a master’s degree to become a nurse practitioner.

Kim has already completed the two-year pre-nursing program at Long Beach State University, where she interned at St. Mary Medical Center as a health scholar. She graduated from Santa Cruz High School in 2016.

Kim’s mother, Monika Adam, is an American Federation of Teachers member. Her father, who immigrated from Germany, has worked with Local 101 to help negotiate better wages and benefits for his colleagues as well as contract a state holiday that honors Cesar Chavez’s birthday.

“My father’s mission is to protect his coworkers from unfair treatment, and he works relentlessly for more social justice,” Kim said. “My goal is to be a shop steward like my father and fight for our rights, just as Cesar Chavez did.”

Deaira recently finished her first year as a film/TV major at De Anza College in Cupertino. She expects to complete her associate’s degree next May and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in film/media arts with aspirations of working in the entertainment industry.

Deaira graduated from Palo Alto High School in 2018. Her mother has served as a steward, occupational chair and executive board member with Local 2620, and Deaira has attended union meetings with her mother for years.

After watching her mother fight for working people’s rights over the years, Deaira eventually became inspired to stand up for others who didn’t have a voice.

In high school, Deaira was active in the school’s Latinos Unidos club. When the club asked the school to paint a mural to honor the diversity of the student population to replace another mural that was being taken down, the school initially denied the club’s request.

But Deaira was one of the students who took a stand and organized other students and staff to demand that the club’s mural project be approved so that students of color could feel like they were represented on campus. Because of the pressure, the school eventually allowed the club’s mural to be painted.

“One value that I always remembered from my mom was to treat others how you wanted to be treated, so I try to treat everybody with respect and I always try to be my best self in front of others,” Deaira said.