Student studying to become a doctor wins $5,000 Iron Workers scholarship

JACOB FRANKE (center) receives the scholarship check from Randy Gori (left) and John Herrington. – Labor Tribune photo

Edwardsville, IL – Jacob Franke, 26, of Valmeyer, Ill., from an Iron Workers family, is on his way to becoming a doctor with help from a major new scholarship awarded by Iron Workers Local 392.

Franke, who is preparing for his first semester at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield was named the first recipient last week of the Charles J. Hopkins Scholarship, a $5,000 award to help with his education.

Franke said he hopes to become a surgeon, which could take up to seven years of classes and residencies. He is a graduate of Valmeyer High School and has a degree from Illinois College in Jacksonville. He will take classes in his first year and in the second year begin clinical rotations and shadowing, leading up to a residency.

The scholarship was funded on behalf of Hopkins by the Gori Julian law firm, where Hopkins’ son, John J. Hopkins, is an attorney. Students related to Iron Workers members and who were juniors, seniors or graduate students wrote essays addressing the cost of higher education.
Franke’s essay was judged the best because of its thorough and factual description of the problem and its impassioned call for greater support for students.

Franke is the son of Local 392 member Jeff Franke and mother, Kim Franke, who works for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Local 392 is the same local where Charlie Hopkins served 21 years as financial secretary-treasurer. He died in January at age 92.

The scholarship was presented to Franke last week by Randy L. Gori, partner in Gori Julian, and John Herrington, president and business manager of Local 392, which covers much of western and southern Illinois.

Charles Hopkins joined the union in 1947, becoming a journeyman and later, in 1970, Local 392’s financial secretary-treasurer. He was also known for his nine-year professional baseball career, playing for the St. Louis Browns and Baltimore Orioles organizations, among others.



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