Scholarship Program Turns Tragedy Into Opportunity

Spouses of children of workers who died in industrial accidents\r\ncovered by Workers Compensation Fund received $105,000 in\r\ncollege scholarships this year.

Spouses of children of workers who died in industrial accidents covered by Workers Compensation Fund (WCF) received $105,000 in college scholarships.

In its eleventh year, WCF''s Legacy of Learning program provided 70 people a means for them to further their education.

In addition, five graduate students pursuing degrees in industrial hygiene or safety and ergonomics at the University of Utah received "Safe Workplace" awards worth $2,000 each.

"Since 1990, WCF has awarded more than 450 Legacy of Learning scholarships to spouses, sons and daughters of employees who died in accidents that occurred at job sites insured by WCF," said Melvin Green, WCF chairman. "We are committed to helping families of workers who have lost their lives in industrial accidents."

Each Legacy of Learning recipient receives $1,500 to be used for tuition, books and fees. Selection criteria include grade-point average, standard test scores, general character, community involvement and financial need.

Recipients may apply for scholarships each year they remain in college, and WCF places no limits on the number of family members who can receive such scholarships.

The list of 2000 recipients includes 14 families with more than one person receiving aid provided by WCF.

The company established the Safest Workplace scholarships in 1997 to help reduce the number of accidents and deaths that occur on the job.

"Workplace safety is a major priority for WCF," said Green. "With the help of programs that encourage safety, workplace accidents have seen a drop over the last several years. We would like to see that trend continue."

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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