The Collision Repair Education Foundation, in conjunction with AkzoNobel and The Most Influential Women of the Collision Repair Industry, is awarding eight young women with scholarships to assist in their education and advancement in the collision industry.
The top scholarship winner in the Secondary category is Rosalva Andrade, a student at Dennis Technical Education center in Boise, Idaho. Rosalva will be awarded a $5,000 scholarship to continue her education and career in the collision industry.
In Rosalva’s essay for the scholarship, she details why she is interested in the collision industry: “Ever since I was a little girl I have always dreamed of doing something with cars, anything really at first…Because I was a girl, I had to work twice as hard to show that I really was in the class for the right reasons but I never gave up. It is hard being a girl in any man’s field because some people think that girls can’t do the job; I would like this opportunity to show other girls that they can also do anything they want.”
The top scholarship winner in the Post-Secondary category is Jessica Gauthier, a student at Green River Community College in Auburn, Wash. Jessica will also be awarded a $5,000 scholarship to continue her education and career in the collision industry.
Jessica demonstrated her love of the industry in her essay for the scholarship award: “I was raised in the collision repair industry. My dad was, in my eyes, the greatest auto body technician alive. I loved going to the shop and being his helper, there was nothing like the smell of bondo on a Saturday morning after breakfast…Being able to prove myself as a woman in educational setting of the industry and how I was able to handle that situation will make it easier as I return to the workforce after graduation. Just because I am a female does not mean that I can’t fix a damaged vehicle, and that is what I will show the industry once again. In my future I foresee my name becoming a household name for Collision Repair.”
In addition to Rosalva and Jessica, six runner-up scholarships were awarded to students from career and technical schools and colleges around the United States. All of the runner-up recipients will receive a $2,500 scholarship to continue their education.
In the Secondary category, the Education Foundation congratulates: Carol Davis (Sevier County High School – Sevierville, Tenn.); Aleah Mims (Scarlet Oaks Career Development Center – Cincinnati, Ohio); and Nicolette Cole (Muscle Shoals Center for Technology – Muscle Shoals, Ala.).
In the Post-Secondary category, the Education Foundation congratulates: Jessica Crowley (College of Western Idaho – Nampa, Idaho), Michele Marie Geis (Lewis-Clark State College – Lewiston, Idaho; and Ashley Paegel (South Central College – North Mankato, Minn.).
Collision Repair Education Foundation Executive Director Scott Kruger said, "This is the ninth year that AkzoNobel has recognized and awarded young women studying collision repair in their schools and colleges. The Collision Repair Education Foundation is proud to partner with AkzoNobel on this scholarship opportunity and would like to congratulate the winning students. Through AkzoNobel’s support, these women will be able to further their education and become the future leaders of the industry."
“Sustainability is a strategic drive for AkzoNobel,” noted Laura Costello, director of marketing for AkzoNobel Automotive & Aerospace Coatings America. “People are a key component of sustainability. Our efforts to support the advancement of women in collision repair have now moved into a second decade. We are pleased that we have been able to sustain this activity and are gratified to have touched the lives of so many and in such a personal way.”
Established in 1999, The Most Influential Women of the Collision Repair Industry program annually recognizes the leadership contributions that are made by a unique group of individuals that have dedicated themselves to the betterment of this industry and their communities.
Collision Repair Education Foundation