The Antelope Valley Federation awarded six scholarships at a May 18 event sponsored by the college foundation.

High school seniors Star Collins and Amanda Martinez each received $500 from the Karen Curtis Scholarship, which the AFT Local 4683 created to honor one of the union’s driving forces, CFT Field Representative Karen Curtis.

Curtis died in 2016, a year after retiring. Her sister Leslie, also a union rep, and who originally encouraged “K.C.” to become a union activist, presented this year’s awards.

“K.C. did most of our early training, negotiated our first contract…all of that,” said President Pamela Ford. “She was so inspirational for us.”

Local 4683 awarded another of its $500 scholarships to member Felix Vasquez, a clerical assistant who is seeking a degree in small business management. Vasquez was a journeyman mason for 15 years and member of the Cement Masons Union. His dad was a member for 25 years.

“It was through my dad that I was introduced to all the benefits unions can offer their members,” Vasquez said. “I believe unions give representation to any member who needs it so that they can keep working, unaffected and unafraid.”