IBEW 1245 is proud to congratulate the first two recipients of the Jairus Ayeta Line School Scholarship, a new award established in 2020 for first-generation utility workers. The Ayeta scholarship is named in honor of an IBEW 1245 apprentice who was the victim of a fatal workplace tragedy on August 4, 2018 while restoring power at the Carr Fire outside Redding, California.
These two Ayeta Scholarship awardees will be attending the Northwest IBEW JATC-sanctioned VOLTA Line School in Oregon this spring, with all expenses paid by IBEW 1245:
Estevan Salazar is born and raised in Orland, California. He attended Orland High School, played football and had plans to return to the gridiron this summer at Shasta College. Most recently, Salazar has worked in Willits at the Johns Manville insulation plant.
“I am very excited and grateful for this great opportunity. I want to give my full effort in honor of Jairus, and to prove that I am a worthy recipient of this scholarship,” said Salazar. “I hope that I can learn the necessary skills needed to succeed as a lineman, and to be able to do the job as safely and efficiently as possible.”
In his scholarship essay, Salazar shared a bit about his motivation behind applying for the program.
Personally, I never have looked into the electric utility industry much in the past, as I do not have any family that works in the industry. I am a first-generation college student as well as possibly being the first in the electric utility industry. I love getting to learn about the industry, and how important it is for all of us who use electricity in our everyday lives. I could imagine how good it must feel to be able to help Americans keep their lights on whether you are working in a power plant, or if you are a lineman fixing a pole. I love helping others and have the physical and mental capacity to work in this industry, so I will keep trying to find ways to get in no matter what. I seek and will try my best to overcome any challenge that may arise.
Matthew Carrier is from Vacaville and attended Wood High School. A baseball player, Carrier pitched a year at Butte College before leaving school to help at home with seven siblings.
“Getting this scholarship felt like a blessing to me. I remember telling my parents about this and saying I can’t pass this opportunity up. I want to be the role model for my siblings, and this is a great chance to do so,” Carrier said. “This will be a time to learn new skills and extend my family. I am extremely excited for what is to come in my future, and truly grateful for this opportunity.”
Carrier chose to focus his scholarship essay on the value of unions and the labor movement, both historically and currently.
Something huge that the union stands for is focusing on the laborer themself – making sure they know they are safe and secure with their job regardless of skill, sex, or ethnicity. How unique and cool is that?! However, the union was never always as dependable as it is now and IBEW had to come together and go through many obstacles, strikes, and boycotts over the years to get to where they are currently. The only way this was able to happen was through the power of brotherhood… When workers unite, they make things better for everyone. That’s why unions were created to stand up together for fair wages, decent work hours, and a safer work environment. By standing strong together, they can accomplish great things for themselves and all the workers in this profession. Friendships are strong but brotherhood is stronger.
IBEW 1245 is currently accepting Ayeta Scholarship applications for the next VOLTA line school class in August, and details can be found below.
Eligibility: Applicants must live in the jurisdiction of IBEW Local 1245 and be the first generation to work in the utility industry. Applicants must have proof of one year of Algebra, a High School diploma or GED by the end of the academic year in which the scholarship application was completed.
Application process: Applicants will be required to submit two letters of recommendation from a non-relative instructor, principal, counselor or supervisor, and a 500-word essay. The essay topic shall be related to the Labor Movement and/or working in the Electric Utility Industry. Applications and essays shall be emailed to GoodJobs@IBEW1245.com, and will be accepted until June 15.
Award: Four recipients will be selected each year (two in the spring and two in the fall) to receive a one-time scholarship to attend the Northwest JATC Training Center (Volta) in Oregon. The scholarships will include full tuition, fees, tools, lodging and $60 per day for meals.
Selection process: A three-person panel made up of at least three IBEW 1245 staff members appointed by the Business Manager shall solicit candidates and select the most deserving from the available candidate pool.