The top scholarship winner in the Secondary category is Rachel Fonseca, a student at Greater New Bedford Regional Technical High School in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Fonseca will be awarded a $5,000 scholarship to continue her education and career in the collision industry.
Lee Desrosiers, an instructor at Greater New Bedford Regional Technical High School said, “I have known Rachel for three years. During her first year, she showed aptitude and ability that was equal to or beyond some of my best students. Rachel continued to excel throughout her sophomore, junior, and senior years, grasping new ideas quickly. I predict she will be very successful in the collision industry and an asset to any collision repair business.”
The top scholarship winner in the Post-Secondary category is Brittany Aldridge, a student at Atlantic Technical Center in Coconut Creek, Florida. Aldridge will also be awarded a $5,000 scholarship to continue her education and further her career.
“Brittany is a well-rounded individual who arrives early every morning, never says no to any task, and is very eager to learn,” praised Michael Hartwell, instructor at Atlantic Technical Center. I believe Brittany’s strength lies in her strong determination to succeed no matter what the challenge. Brittany is an asset to my class.”
In addition to Fonseca and Aldridge, six runner-up scholarships were awarded to students from career and technical schools and colleges around the United States. All of the runner-ups will receive a $2,000 scholarship to continue their education.
In the Secondary category, the Education Foundation congratulates: Daniela Correia from William M. Davies, Jr. Career and Technical High School in Lincoln, R.I.; Tori Golden from Limestone County Career Technical Center in Athens, Alabama; and Stephanie Nance from Southside High School in Jackson, Tennessee.
In the Post-Secondary category, the Education Foundation congratulates: Kim Ploeger from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay, Wisconsin; Selena Strickland from Okefenokee Technical College in Waycross, Georgia; and Ilse Villarreal from Texas State Technical College – Harlingen in Harlingen, Texas.
Ron Ray, Executive Director of the I-CAR Education Foundation added, “It is a pleasure to administer this scholarship program for Akzo Nobel, now in its fifth year, and reward these talented young women and future members of the collision industry for their hard work and dedication.
“I had the opportunity to read the finalists’ applications before we sent them to the Education Foundation Executive Committee for selection, and I can tell you that we have a group of instructors that due to a continued repetition of this scholarship are now poised each year to recommend a great group of women that have drive, ambition, motivation, and deserve financial support to continue their education.”
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.A total of 359 career and technical schools and colleges that are ASE-certified to the NATEF standards in collision repair and refinishing received a letter and student application for this scholarship. Both the female student applicant and instructor were asked to write a short essay explaining why the student should be awarded the scholarship.