Press Release

Oak Lawn, Ill., High School Graduate Wins Robert G. Porter Scholarship

For Release: 

Sunday, July 11, 2010


George Jackson

SEATTLE—Christopher O’Brien, a 2010 graduate of Oak Lawn Community High School in Oak Lawn, Ill., is one of four highly accomplished high school graduates to receive a Robert G. Porter Scholarship Sunday 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.

In addition to excelling academically, O’Brien has been extremely active outside the classroom. He was a member of his school’s conference championship track team and received the soccer team’s sportsmanship award in his senior year. He also was co-captain of a team in the Relay for Life fundraiser for cancer research.

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.

O’Brien will be attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he plans to study nuclear engineering.

O’Brien’s mother, Kathryn O’Brien, is a member of the Southwest Suburban Federation of Teachers in Orland Park, Ill.

The AFT is holding its biennial convention July 7-11 in Seattle. Coming together under the theme “Building Futures Together,” more than 3,000 delegates will vote on major union policies that address the need to save and strengthen public education, build common cause with communities, and improve the institutions in which our members work.

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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.