Union scholarship program helps growing family

Posted Feb. 20, 2019 by

It may just be the best kept secret of being a member of OCSEA. Now in its 30th year, the OCSEA Les Best Scholarship program awards a total of $12,000 in scholarships to OCSEA members, their spouses and dependents each year. And with this smaller pool of applicants, the odds are in members’ favor to win.

The scholarship application process is straightforward and simple. Former Les Best Spouse scholarship winner Cindy Nolletti, whose husband Jared Nolletti is employed by the Ohio Dept. of Transportation, sums it up: “The (application) experience welcomes those busy with work and family life, and, likewise, rewards those who are working towards bettering themselves,” said Jared.

Scholarship winners over the years have made the most of the opportunity the award has provided them, as they pursue a college degree or further their education as they work toward promotions in the workplace. Nolletti says his wife Cindy is the perfect case in point. Cindy was working towards her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN) in 2012 when she won a Les Best Scholarship. She has since graduated, passed her state boards and is now a practicing Registered Nurse. Today, she is working her way through her master’s to become a Nurse Practitioner!

The scholarship win helped her pursue her education. “I have four daughters, so as you can imagine the money was a fantastic blessing,” said Cindy. Jared and Cindy encourage others to take advantage of the benefits like this provided by OCSEA. “I emphasize the importance of unions and the benefits they provide for hard-working families and individuals. Support your local unions as union members contribute toward the communities they live in,” said Cindy.

How to Apply

Les Best Scholarship applications can be downloaded from the OCSEA website at

Applicants in the Member and Spouse categories fill out the application, write an essay based on the provided question, and submit an academic or professional reference to apply. Applicants in these two categories are eligible for the awards whether they are attending college full-time OR part-time.

For the Dependent category, the same process applies, with the addition of supplying an official high school or college transcript as well as the results of the SAT or ACT test (the test scores are required for graduating high school seniors only) Dependents who are enrolling in vocational, trade or technical schools do not need to send in the ACT or SAT test scores.

Applications are accepted until April 30, 2019, and will then go to the scholarship selection committee—a group of distinguished educators and labor union representatives—who will examine and consider all required materials submitted and will award up to 12 scholarships. Applicants are judged on a pre-determined point-based system to ensure fairness. Beginning in June, winners will be notified and recipients’ names and photos are published in the summer issue of OCSEA’s Public Employee Quarterly magazine. The scholarship award checks are sent directly to the recipients’ colleges for fall term.

OCSEA encourages members to take advantage of their union benefits and apply for a Les Best Scholarship now! Deadline to apply is April 30, 2019. Download your application at