Our 2019 Patrick D. Finley Scholarship Fund Winners

The Patrick D. Finley Scholarship Fund, continues to provide educational opportunities for the sons and daughters of the OPCMIA! Each year eight grants are awarded, one for each successful candidate for his/her education. Winners are selected based upon the student’s non-weighted GPA reported on an official high school or college transcript and an essay on the importance of the OPCMIA on the applicant’s family. The scholarship may be used for any field of study by undergraduate students.

Yujany Sarabia

OPCMIA Scholarship winner Yujany Sarabia pictured with her father, Cesar Sarabia, a member of Local Union 600, Los Angeles, California. Yujany currently a student at University of California, Santa Barbara, attending this fall as a Biology major.

I, Yujany Sarabia am currently a UCSB student attending this fall as a Biology major and on a pre-med track. In high school I took college level classes, did community service and put in the work in order to graduate with Honors, those experiences helped me build character.

I want to thank my parents for their continued support. I am grateful for the support that the OPCMIA “Patrick D. Finley Scholarship Fund” and Cement Masons Local Union 600, where my father works as Finisher, has given me in pursuing my education.

This scholarship has impacted my life by allowing me to attend the University and be a step closer to my goals. I will continue to work hard and diligently in the University towards my goals and dreams. Thank you very much OPCMIA and Cement Masons Local Union 600 for the support!

Benjamin Byers

OPCMIA Scholarship winner Benjamin Byers pictured with his father, Norman Scott Byers, a member of Local Union 755, Los Angeles, California. Benjamin plans to attend the University of San Francisco in the fall.

Benjamin Byers is a Class of 2019 graduating senior from Rolling Hills Preparatory High School in San Pedro, California. He is a four-year letter, scholar-athlete participating in three sports: tennis, football, and basketball. This season his Rolling Hills Prep basketball team became “Three-Peat” CIF Division 3 City Champions and won the State Championship his sophomore year. In the spring of this year, he earned MVP honors for the tennis team finishing 4th in the Coastal League Singles.

Academically, Benjamin has maintained a 3.8 GPA; reads, writes and speaks Mandarin Chinese fluently and has been a member of the National Honor Society since the 10th grade. He served as Student Council Vice President his junior year.

His life’s passion is bowling competing in league play and competitively as a California Junior USBC member in local, state, regional and national tournaments since the tender age of 5 now averaging well into the 200’s.

Ben will be attending the University of San Francisco in the fall majoring in Architecture and Community Design with a minor in Asian Studies.

Nicole Yoho

OPCMIA Scholarship winner Nicole Yoho pictured with her father, Michael Yoho, a member of Local Union 109, Akron, Ohio. Nicole plans to attend The University of Mount Union in the fall.

My name is Nicole Yoho. My father, Mike Yoho, is a member of Local 109 in Akron, Ohio. I recently graduated from Timken Early College High School (a program through Canton McKinley High School), as well as, Stark State College. I not only received my high school diploma, but also two (2) Associate’s Degrees. I am a member of The National Honor Society, Canton McKinley Scholars, McKinley Girl’s Tennis, Upward Bound Math/Science, and C.A.M.P. Program (Cast Apprenticeship Mentorship Program). One accomplishment I am extremely proud of is that I have had perfect attendance for my entire schooling (K-12). I have never missed a day of school!

In the fall, I will be attending The University of Mount Union with a major in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Business. This scholarship will help with my current goal of obtaining my Bachelor’s Degree, move on to the next goal of obtaining my Master’s Degree, and eventually become a successful professional in the education field.

Thank you again for this opportunity!

Ashley Costa

OPCMIA Scholarship winner Ashley Costa pictured with her father, Rino Costa and grandfather, members of Local Union 404, Cleveland, Ohio. Ashley plans to attend the University of Dayton in the fall.

Hello! My name is Ashley Costa and my family is a proud member of the OPCMIA. This fall I will be attending the University of Dayton to study Early Childhood Education and Occupational Therapy. I graduated Magna Cum Laude from North Royalton High School. Throughout my high school years, I was active in my community with numerous service activities, along with being a member of National Honor Society.

Allison McLaughlin

OPCMIA Scholarship winner Allison McLaughlin pictured with her father, James McLaughlin, a member of Local Union 3, St. Louis, Missouri. Allison plans to attend St. Charles Community College in the fall.

Allison McLaughlin is the daughter of James McLaughin, a member of Local 3 in St. Louis, Missouri. Allison graduated a semester early from Fort Zumwalt West High School in O’Fallon, Missouri in December of 2018. She will be attending St. Charles Community College to receive her Associate’s Degree in English/Literature. During her high school career, Allison maintained a 4.2 GPA while being an active National Honor Society Member, DECA Public Relations Officer, Junior Class Officer, Yearbook Design Editor, Cheer Captain, and Jr. Jags Cheer Coach. Allison’s father, James, is her role-model and consistently teaches her the values of hard work and dedication and what the Union stands for. Allison’s family has been a part of the Union for generations, and this has inspired Allison to one day become a member of The American Federation of Teachers.

Jennifer Velasco

OPCMIA Scholarship winner Jennifer Velasco pictured with her father, Isidro Velasco, Jr., a member of Local Union 630, Honolulu, Hawaii. Jennifer is presently attending University of Hawaii West Oahu and Leeward Community College. She plans to continue here studies in the fall.

My name is Jennifer Velasco, daughter of Isidro Velasco Jr, who is a member of Local 630. I am from Honolulu, Hawaii. I graduated from Waipahu High School with honors. I am very involved with my academics, extracurricular activities, and as well as community service. I started taking college classes during my junior year to explore on what I really want to be in the future. I became a school ambassador during my senior year. It was a great experience.

I am now in college, attending two colleges. I am studying at University of Hawaii West Oahu and Leeward Community College with my Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration concentration in Healthcare Administration. I am in my junior year of college this coming fall 2019. I plan to continue my studies till I get my master’s degree in Public Health.

Jacob Gasienica

OPCMIA Scholarship winner Jacob Gasienica pictured with his father, Janusz Gasienica, a member of Local Union 502, Chicago, Illinois. Jacob is going into his senior year at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the fall.

My name is Jacob Gasienica. My father, Janusz Gasienica, has been a member of Local Union 502, since 1996. My father moved here from Poland when he was 16 years old and becoming a member of the union played a large part in improving his life and the life he provided for me.

I am currently going into my senior year at the University of Illinois at Chicago. At UIC, I am studying bioengineering on a pre-medicine track. Bioengineering has given me a curriculum through which I have been able to learn about the math, physics, and biology behind the medical devices which fascinated me growing up. It has also given me opportunities to gain experience in doctors’ clinics before attending medical school.

Throughout my undergraduate years, I have been heavily involved in student leadership positions as well as in research. I currently work at Rush University Medical Center in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, where I work on research projects concerning motion and imaging biomechanics. I am also an avid volunteer at a local hospital and like to run in my free time.

I am currently interested in pursuing a practice in orthopedic surgery as that is where most of my research work lies; however, I am excited to see a range of specialties in medical school and find out what other fields might interest me the most.

Angel White

OPCMIA Scholarship winner Angel White pictured with her father, Thomas White, a member of Local Union 404, Cleveland, Ohio. Angel is going into her senior year at the Ohio State University in the fall.

I am Angel White, and I am the daughter of Thomas White, a Local 404 member. My dad has been an important role model my whole life and has always encouraged me to pursue what I am passionate about. I am an upcoming senior at The Ohio State University majoring in Neuroscience. At OSU I am the treasurer of Buckeyes Raising Awareness in Neuroscience, a member of Nu Rho Psi, and a founding member of an outreach program teaching high school students about stem cells and the brain! I also dedicate a lot of time working on my research project in a physiology and cell biology lab on campus. The lab focuses on studying the heart, looking at ways to improve function in the failing heart.

After graduation I plan to go on to graduate school to pursue a Ph.D. in Neuroscience to study neurodegenerative diseases. With the help of this scholarship I am going to be able to finish out my last year in undergrad strong and dedicate enough time to working on my graduate school applications and interviews.