2023 Winners of the Patrick D. Finley Scholarship Award — Congratulations!

On behalf of the Officers and members of the OPCMIA, we would like to extend our sincere congratulations and best wishes in pursuing your dreams. Reach for the STARS!

Each of the eight recipients were awarded $5,000.00 to further their educational goals.

Louie Bala, Jr.

OPCMIA Scholarship winner Louie Bala, Jr. pictured with his father, Louie Bala a member of local 630, Honolulu, HI. Louie has been accepted to the University of Hawaii.

Aloha! I am Louie Bala Jr., son of Louie Bala. My father has been working in Local 630 for 28 years. I am majoring in Computer Science at the University of Hawaii: Manoa. With a strong GPA of 3.88, I’m currently a Senior graduating this Fall semester. In high school, I completed Spanish 4 and earned 12 college back-credits towards the 2nd language requirement. I also took 14 summer credits, allowing me to graduate one semester earlier than expected. These achievements demonstrate my commitment to learning and drive for success.

I’m honored to be chosen as a recipient of the prestigious OPCMIA Patrick D. Finley Scholarship Award the OPCMIA. This generous opportunity will greatly enhance my academic journey and pave the way for a bright future.

Mahalo for recognizing my potential, your support means the world to me as I pursue my dreams in the field of computer science.

Josue B. Corona

OPCMIA Scholarship winner Josue B. Corona pictured with his father, Ezequiel Corona, a member of local 66, San Fransico, CA. Josue is a Sophomore at Sacramento State University.

Hi, my name is Josue Corona. I first want to thank OPCMIA and all officers for this scholarship. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity that OPCMIA and Local 66 have provided me and my family. I am the son of Ezequiel Corona from Local 66 in San Fransisco, CA.

I am going into my second year at Sacramento State University. I am a Construction Management major with a minor in Business Management. I am very passionate about the construction industry which is what drove me to pursue an education in this field. I am very excited to continue with my studies and to learn more about all aspects of the construction industry. My goal is to graduate in four years and to have secured a job by the time I graduate.

Thank you all for this opportunity, I am very grateful!

McKayla Eaton

OPCMIA Scholarship winner McKayla Eaton pictured with her father, Patrick Eaton a member of local 11, Northern IL. McKayla has been accepted to Elmhurst University.

Hello! My name is McKayla Eaton and my father, Patrick Eaton, has been a member of Local 11 in Northern Illinois for twenty-three years. I have just received my associate in arts degree from Waubonsee Community College. This fall, I am transferring to Elmhurst University where I will be majoring in Psychology and minoring in Social Work. I also plan to go on and get a master’s in social work.

This summer I am doing an internship through the Association for Individual Development to gain experience working with clients within the social work field. I am a part of Phi Theta Kappa, Somonauk Junior Women’s Club, and NSLS. I have always tried to prioritize volunteering and have worked with places like Hesed House, Fox Valley Adult Day Service, and the LSSI Giving Tree. Music has been my passion, and after four years of high school band percussion, I decided to join my college’s concert and steel bands. I was also given the opportunity to mentor younger students and help them through their first year in college. I am so grateful for receiving OPCMIA’s scholarship and the doors it will open for me.

Joshua C. Farmer

OPCMIA Scholarship winner Joshua C. Farmer pictured with his father, Jason Farmer a member of local 534, Boston, MA. Joshua has been accepted to McGill University.

Hello, my name is Joshua Farmer, and I am from Boston, MA. My father, Jason Farmer, has been a proud member of Local 534 for over 22 years. I graduated from Saugus High School with honors and was ranked 11th in my class. When I wasn’t studying, I had the ability to lead my grade as Class President. I worked to improve my community through several social justice organizations as well. I served as the Treasurer for the Young Feminist Alliance Club and for the Students in Action Club. I was elected Committee Chairperson for the National Honor Society and participated in the Massachusetts GSA Leadership Council.

In the fall I will be attending McGill University, majoring in Political Science. I aim to continue my involvement with service and activism to incite positive social change throughout my college and career life. Thank you to the OPCMIA and Patrick D. Finley Scholarship Foundation for seeing value in my application and investing in my education.

Ava Fife

OPCMIA Scholarship winner Ava Fife pictured with her father, Dennis Fife a member of local 592, Philadelphia, PA. Ava has been accepted to Penn State University Park.

My name is Ava Fife, proud daughter of Dennis Fife. My dad has been a member of Local Union 592 Philadelphia, PA for twenty-seven years. He has shown me how to truly be dedicated to my work and my goals. I am a 2023 graduate that attended Conwell-Egan Catholic Highschool. Throughout high school I have challenged myself to get involved. Some activities I am involved in are Best Buddies, Yearbook club, All Systems Go Av internship, student ambassador, and Founder and President of Birds Eye View, a student-run media club. I was also involved in additional coursework for early college credits. I have received credits through Lasalle’s LEAP program and through Bucks County Community College. I love giving back to the community and making an impact in school, just like how my dad gives back to the union.

I will be attending Penn State University Park this summer prior to fall admission. I will be majoring in journalism with a focus study in sports broadcasting. I will take big steps in college to reach my future career goal of being a NFL sideline reporter. I would like to thank OPCMIA for awarding me the Patrick D. Finley Scholarship. I am very grateful for this award and will be using it to further my education. The OPCMIA has provided my dad and now me a great opportunity to take a lead in new opportunities.

Chloe Proffitt

OPCMIA Scholarship winner Chloe Proffitt pictured with her father, Owin Proffitt a member of local 11, Northern, IL. Chloe has been accepted to Eastern Illinois University.

My name is Chloe Proffitt, daughter of Owin Proffitt. I just recently graduated from Wilmington High School. I will be attending Eastern Illinois University where I will continue my athletic and academic career. I will be majoring in Dietetics while running Division 1 cross country and track. Outside of running I have participated in a wide variety of activities. I was the secretary of the NHS, a part of the Student Council, and an intern at The Free Press. Outside of school, I help to advocate for mental health. My dad has always been a huge part of my life. Most importantly my dad taught me to work for whatever I strive for. When it comes to running my dad taught me to always put in the extra work and not give up when it gets hard. This is a trait he has demonstrated my entire life, from work to family, he has always given it his all.

I am extremely grateful for OPICMA and Local 11. The Patrick D. Finley Scholarship Fund will greatly affect my future. I am extremely blessed to be granted this opportunity to help expand on my dreams and further my education.

Gemalyn R. Yutob

OPCMIA Scholarship winner Gemalyn R. Yutob pictured with her father Gernani Yutob a member of local 630, Honolulu, HI. Gemalyn will be a senior at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Aloha, my name is Gemalyn Yutob, and I am the daughter of Gernani Yutob. My father has been a loyal member of Cement Masons Union Local 630 for 33 years and is now retired. I was born and raised on the island of O’ahu, Hawai’i. In 2020, I graduated from Leilehua High School as Summa Cum Laude with Academic Honors. I was a very involved high school student who took part in the National Honors Society, Leadership, Yearbook, Peer Mediation, Leo Club, Track & Field, and lastly Dance. In 2022, I graduated from Leeward Community College with an associate in liberal arts in Social Science. This fall, I will be a senior at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, where I’m currently studying toward a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Communicology.

I am an avid and passionate advocate for bettering one’s psychological well-being and I hope to work as a mental health therapist in our community someday. Even as I pursue my degree, I continue to believe that it is vital to reach out to others to foster love and compassion and raise understanding regarding a variety of mental health related topics and issues we face as a society. As a result, I presently manage an online platform called Be the Gems; I am leading this growing page on Instagram under @bethegems. I enjoy interacting with a wide range of individuals because I believe that is the greatest way to learn in life. I aspire to flourish academically and personally, to achieve all my goals, and to inspire others to do the same.

I would like to express my gratitude to the OPCMIA Patrick D. Finley Scholarship Fund for offering me this scholarship. I am very appreciative of your help as I work toward becoming a licensed therapist. After finishing my last year of undergraduate study, I’ll enroll in graduate school to acquire a master’s degree in mental health counseling.

Philip Zuska

OPCMIA Scholarship winner Philip Zuska pictured with his father Vaclav Zuska a member of local 29, Jersey City, NJ. Philip has been accepted to Rutgers, The University of New Jersey Business School.

Hello, my name is Philip Zuska. I am the son of Vaclav Zuska, who has been a member of Local 29 in Jersey City for seven years. I am a graduate of Saint Joseph High School in Metuchen, New Jersey where I finished as one of the top students in my class. While attending Saint Joes, I was a member of the National Honors Society and German National Honors Society, a three-year Varsity soccer goalie, president of my school’s German Club, an active member of two organizations that specialize in working with people who have special needs, and an active member in many other clubs. I was a Math and German tutor, and I have received four National German Exam rewards and recognitions, such as two silver medals and one bronze medal. At the end of my high school career, I achieved Summa Cum Laude for having a cumulative GPA of 4.4 and above for all four years of high school, and my German abilities were recognized with the German National Honor Society Sacre’ Coeur Award.

With these achievements, I was able to get accepted into Rutgers, The University of New Jersey, New Brunswick Honors College, where I will be attending this upcoming school year to study Finance, with the hope of continuing for my master’s degree. I want to thank the OPCMIA for the huge role they played in my family’s life, and the Patrick D. Finley Scholarship Fund for allowing me to continue my higher education.