Home care workers are the unsung heroes of the medical profession—a vital part of our communities helping keep families together. They care for the most vulnerable among us with compassion: our sick parents, our elderly grandparents and disabled children—assisting them with everything from dressing and meal preparation to eating and bathing.
Even those fortunate to be members of 1199SEIU—who enjoy the benefits the union provides them—struggle to earn a living wage while working long and unpredictable hours at tasks that are physically, mentally and emotionally challenging.
About Basil Paterson
Basil Paterson, for more than 60 years, devoted his life to public service and the welfare of workers. The Basil Paterson Scholarship pays tribute to Basil’s legacy and his unwavering support of 1199SEIU Home Care workers.
Basil understood that Home Care workers are not paid commensurate with the difficulty of their work and, in his words, “never got a chance when they started.”
Without the essential services provided every day by Home Care workers, many patients would no longer be able to live in the comfort and safety of their own homes.
Basil believed strongly in the educational scholarship that bears his name and felt that those who worked so hard to provide care to the most needy among us deserved the opportunity to realize their dreams.
He was immensely proud of the recipients it helps – recipients like Doreen Ankrah, a proud 2015 alumna of the Basil Paterson Scholarship Program.
Doreen Ankrah: 2015 Alumna
Doreen was raised by her aunt in Ghana. After graduating from high school, she enrolled in a health assistant certificate program. During her training, Doreen provided care to a cousin experiencing epileptic episodes. Being able to improve the quality of life for her cousin gave her a sense of purpose and led her to seek work within a hospital, but with limited funds, few options to further her education were available.
After arriving in the United States, Doreen trained as a Home Health Aide and worked for a year, all while keeping the inspiration of caring for her patients close to her heart. The path to her dreams would not prove easy, but receiving the Basil Paterson Scholarship was a well-deserved catalyst for her success.
Since receiving her scholarship, Doreen has completed her Associate’s degree at Bronx Community College with a 3.8 GPA and is now enrolled in Lehman College’s nursing program.
Doreen credits the Basil Paterson Scholarship with helping her achieve her dream of becoming the first member of her family to earn a college degree.
We hope you will join us in support of scholarships for more Home Care workers.