AFSCME Local 749 Scholarship Winners Are Extension of Union Family and Values

AFSCME Local 749 Executive Board awarded three scholarships to dependents of Local 749 members. Bailey Hyland, Nina Marinaccio, and Cristian Rodriguez-Marin, each received $1,000 scholarships to be used for tuition, housing, books, or other college related expenses.

Each student was required to write an essay on the positive impact the union has made in their life.

Bailey Hyland is the daughter of Precious Hyland, who works for the Judicial Branch in Hartford. She expressed how the union has not only helped provide economic security to her family, but also empowered her mother “ to speak up for members and non-members.” Seeing her mother’s transformation unfold led her to pursue a new academic direction in Women and Gender Studies.

“Being a member of Local 749 is like being a part of a worldwide family and no amount of union dues could put a price tag on,” Hyland wrote. She is currently attending Trinity College in Hartford and lives in East Windsor.

Nina Jolie Marinaccio always knew that her hard-working family members were in unions, but never thought about how her father’s union positively impacted her family until recently. Her father, Joseph Marinaccio, works for the Middletown court. As an avid athlete, she suffered many sport injuries over the years and sees a specialist to treat a medical condition that “without my medical insurance would be difficult.”

She is thankful that with the support of her father’s union he was able to continue working throughout the pandemic; never missing a paycheck or losing consistent medical insurance like many families endured. Nina lives in Madison and will attend her first semester at University of New Hampshire in the fall.

Cristian Rodriguez-Marin reflected that his mother’s union job made it possible to “enjoy an education and a comfortable life;” something she had to work hard to attain after having Cristian at 17 years old. Carolina Romanauskas is Cristian’s mother and works in Legal Services at the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch in Hartford.

He credits his academic career at a private university to his parents’ hard work and Local 749 in continuing to “fight for and protect its members in different ways.” Cristian, who is attending St. Johns University in New York, also saw how the union supported his mother in receiving an annual wage increase after several years of wage freezes. He lives in Wolcott with his family.

President Ron Nelson presented each recipient with a check at the Local 749 office in Meriden.

“It was rewarding to read how each family has benefited greatly from being a member of Local 749,” he said. “To meet the students in person and see how this scholarship will have a direct impact on their future demonstrated even more so how our union is like one big family. We look forward to seeing this opportunity supporting more families in the years to come.”


 L-R: Nina Jolie Marinaccio, Bailey Hyland, Cristian Rodriguez-Marin recieve their scholarship checks from President Ron Nelson