Jacie Fabela along with the dependents of seven other Teamsters 117 members were awarded this year's Hoffa scholarship.

Jacie Fabela likes to be out front, leading the band. As her dad puts it, “It’s her exceptionalism that has brought her forward.”

After years of playing the trombone in her high school marching band, she’s recently become what’s known as the “drum major”, a conductor who keeps time for her fellow musicians. Her talents as a trombonist and band leader have brought great things – a trip to Rome and this year a $10,000 James R. Hoffa Scholarship to help with tuition as she heads off to college.

“It was a complete shock for us,” says JoVal Fabela, Jacie’s proud father, a Teamsters 117 member and fiscal analyst at the Department of Corrections. “When the scholarship notification came through, we were all really excited.”

The family couldn’t be more grateful. “It’s an incredible opportunity,” JoVal says. “Teamsters do so much more than just protecting our jobs.”

“The Union has always been there for me,” he adds. “It’s been a tremendous asset. Anytime I’ve had a concern, I’ve always been able to voice it, and I know I can reach out to someone.”

Jacie plans to stay local, having enrolled at St. Martin’s College in Lacey. She wants to study dentistry and isn’t shy about sharing her fascination with the field. She shows her dad photos of the gaping mouths of patients in the throes of dental work. She tells her parents that there’s a lot more to the job than just “drilling and filling.”

Over the holidays, just before COVID-19 hit, the Fabela family had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to Rome, Italy, for the New Year’s Day parade. Jacie’s role as an all-American band leader helped make the trip possible.

The Italian parade brings thousands of musicians from across the world together for a procession through the streets of the historic city. The annual event culminates in St. Peter’s Square with pageantry, music, and a blessing from the Pope.

Jacie Fabela joins the dependents of seven other Teamsters 117 members as recipients of this year’s Hoffa scholarship. Congratulations to all of the award winners. We wish you the best with your budding academic and professional careers!

If you would like to learn more about scholarship opportunities offered by our Union, please visit the Teamsters benefits section of our website.