Press Release

High School Graduate from Philadelphia Wins Robert G. Porter Scholarship

For Release: 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Tom Lansworth

 WASHINGTON—Jordan Konell, a 2011 graduate of Central High School in Philadelphia is one of four highly accomplished high school graduates awarded a Robert G. Porter Scholarship today during the American Federation of Teachers’ TEACH conference.

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

In addition to excelling academically—including ranking first in his class—Konell has been extremely active outside the classroom. He was editor-in-chief of his school newspaper, a member of Central High’s Symphony Orchestra and the Jazz Band, and chairman of the school’s blood drive. As a leader of Operation Understanding, Konell worked with Jewish and African-American high school seniors in Philadelphia to build ties and communication between the two communities.

Konell plans to attend Yale University, where he will study political science and cellular biology, with the long-term goal of a career in politics and public policy. His mother, Susan Konell, is a member of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.

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.

The TEACH (Together Educating America’s Children) conference brings together AFT members from across the country for workshops, discussions and speakers addressing the issues and changes confronting U.S. educators.

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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.