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Local 1839 Scholarships

Local 1839-Scholarships

The Donald J. Silberman Scholarship

A longtime unionist and social activist whose progressive roots extended back to the civil rights and antiwar movements of the 1960s, he played a major role in the New Jersey Industrial Union Council, NJ Citizen Action, and a host of Hudson County labor and community organizations. He was past president of the Council of NJ State College Locals, longtime president and leader of Local 1839 AFT, and professor of English at NJ City U. As council president, Don was primarily responsible for organizing the adjunct faculty and dedicated himself to improving the status of the most disadvantaged group among college faculty.

The AFT is offering four scholarship opportunities each in the amount of  $1,000 in Spring 2024 to any NJCU undergraduate or graduate student who meets the following qualifications:

  • GPA of 3.0 or higher for undergraduate and GPA of 3.3 or higher for graduates.
  • Has a financial need, based on their Financial Aid application.
  • Students must have volunteered on campus or participated in community service. Alternatives for those unable to complete in person community service are outlined in the application. (student must provide a letter of reference)
  • Students must submit an essay based on the two questions provided on the application cover sheet.

Contact Isabel Casais at with any questions

Robert A. Arey Award


  1. The recipient should be employed at NJCU.

  2. The recipient should have provided outstanding service to the students and/or Local 1839 AFT at NJCU in the tradition of Bob Arey. 

  3. Nominations should describe the candidates qualifications and should be sent to the Bob Arey Award Committee care of the AFT Local 1839 office in Grossnickle Hall, Room 421 or 

  4. Members of the Awards Committee can neither be candidates nor make nominations. 

  5. Nominations are due by February 21st. This will be an annual award. 

  6. The winner of the award will be decided by the Bob Arey Award Committee. It is possible that the Committee will decide not to give an award in a particular year.

The award will consist of a plaque.