Press Release

Chicago High School Grad Wins Robert G. Porter Scholarship

For Release: 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Tom Lansworth


WASHINGTON—Julia Cuscaden, a 2013 graduate of Trinity High School in River Forest, Ill., is one of four highly accomplished high school graduates to receive a Robert G. Porter scholarship at the American Federation of Teachers national TEACH Conference.

Each year, the AFT presents an $8,000 scholarship to each of four outstanding high school seniors who are the children of AFT members. Recipients must show exemplary service to their community and plan to pursue a career in labor, education, health or government service.

In addition to excelling academically, Cuscaden, who lives with her family in Chicago, has been active outside the classroom. She was a part of several arts organizations, including the Art Club and the Film Club. She was a volunteer for the St. Paul Church after-school child care program, the Oak Park Animal League and a hospital kitchen. She was an active peer tutor for other students at her school, and was selected to be a member of the National Honor Society.

The Robert G. Porter Scholars Program is named in honor of the late AFT secretary-treasurer, who served for more than 30 years. Porter was known for his commitment to improving the quality of public education and public service.

Julia Cuscaden plans to attend DePaul University in Chicago, and major in early childhood education and minor in cinematic studies. "I am very thankful for this scholarship because it will help me reach my goal of giving children a meaningful and strong education from an early age," she said.

Cuscaden is the daughter of Bruce and Lisa Cuscaden, both of whom are teachers. Her mother is a member of the West Suburban Teachers Union, Local 571.

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.