Press Release

Local High School Graduates Wins Robert G. Porter Scholarship

For Release: 

Monday, July 14, 2014


Kate Childs Graham
202/393-6354; cell 202/615-2424

Today, four highly accomplished high school graduates received a Robert G. Porter Scholarship at the American Federation of Teachers national convention.

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 outstanding service to their community and plan to pursue a career in labor, education, health or government service.

Elissa Candiotti, who graduated from George W. Hewlett High School in Hewlett, N.Y., will head to Syracuse University this fall. She is an accomplished musician who has used her talents to serve her community, directing a cabaret fundraiser for those "stricken with disease."

Briana Draguca, who graduated from Townsend Harris High School in Flushing, N.Y., will attend Barnard College. Briana is an avid student athlete, served as secretary of the Senior Council and volunteers each summer as a camp counselor at a local day camp.

Julian Roessler, who graduated from Julia R. Masterman High School in Philadelphia, will attend the University of Pennsylvania. Among Julian's many accomplishments, he is a member of the National Honor Society and an active member of the Philadelphia Student Union.

Madison Needham, who graduated from Granada Hills Charter High School in Granada Hills, Calif., will head to the University of California, Berkeley. Madison is a young but active community leader previously serving as president for the Granada Hills Charter Gay-Straight Alliance and leading a community educational program known as the Virtual Program.

When announcing the scholars, AFT Secretary-Treasurer Lorretta Johnson said, "Let's give these students—and their parents, of course—a big round of applause. ... Congratulations—we are very proud of you."

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.

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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.