The Class of 2014 set a new record in the scholarships awarded through the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS) scholarships, University of the Aftermarket (UAF) scholarships and collaborating organizations at the automotivescholarships.com website: 295 awards for a total of $320,050. The previous record set in 2013 was 250 awards for $264,050. This year’s recipients include 241 U.S. students and seven Canadian students.
“The academics of these recipients are outstanding,” said Pete Kornafel, chairman of the GAAS scholarship committee. “Of those recipients who reported high school grade point averages (GPAs), 81 percent had GPAs of 3.0 and 47 percent had GPAs of 3.5 or higher. Of those recipients who reported high school class rank, 72 percent were in top half of their class.” He also noted that 49 percent of the applicants are already enrolled in post-secondary programs, and 83 percent of those have GPAs of 3.0 or higher.
“Perhaps most important to the automotive aftermarket’s future, 83 percent of the U.S. recipients are training to become technicians,” Kornafel noted.
By completing a single application at the automotivescholarships.com website, students can be considered for multiple scholarships. A total of 34 of the 2014 scholarship recipients received two awards, and five recipients received three awards.
“One outstanding applicant received a total of four awards and also achieved a first in the history of this scholarship program: the first-ever ‘father and son’ scholarship winners,” Kornafel said. Matthew Bisbee, a U.S. Army veteran, is the four-award winner. He is currently enrolled in the collision training program at Lake Superior College, Duluth, Minn. Bisbee’s son, Courtney, also a scholarship winner, is enrolled in the automotive service technology program at Lake Superior College.
Sara Mohon, another multiple scholarship winner, received the largest total awards at $8,000, which includes a $5,000 award from the Car Care Council Women’s Board. She is a Ph.D. candidate in automotive engineering at Clemson University.
“We are accepting applications for the 2015 awards now at www.automotivescholarships.com,” Kornafel said. “I urge all industry professionals to promote this one-stop site for students planning to pursue aftermarket careers. Scholarships are available for two-year technical college programs and vocational schools and four-year college programs.”
In addition to ADS, GAAS collaborates with these state associations and other automotive groups:
• Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Minnesota (AASP-MN)
• Association of Diesel Specialists (ADS)
• Automotive Aftermarket Association of the Carolinas and Tennessee (AAACT)
• Automotive Aftermarket Association Southeast (AAAS)
• Automotive Parts and Service Association
• California/Nevada/Arizona Automotive Wholesalers’ Association (CAWA)
• Kentucky/Indiana Automotive Wholesalers Association Michigan Automotive Parts Association (MAPA)
• Midwest Automotive Parts and Service Association (MAPSA)
• Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS)
• North American Council of Automotive Teachers (NACAT) Education Foundation
• New York State Automotive Aftermarket Association (NYSAAA)
• Wisconsin Automotive Part Association (WAPA)
The following foundations and organizations also collaborate with GAAS to award scholarships:
• Auto Care Association
• Automotive Communication Council
• Breslow Foundation
• Gates Corporation
• Larry McCurdy Memorial Fund
• Leadership Development Network
• Michael Busch Memorial Fund
• Mitchell 1
• Multi Parts Supply
• National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)
• IHS, Driven by Polk
• Standard Motor Products
• Stant Corporation
• University of the Aftermarket Foundation
Additional scholarship funding comes from industry contributions provided by individuals, companies and foundations. Contributions can be made to the Scholarship Fund, c/o Susan Medick at the Auto Care Association at 301-654-6664 or [email protected].