The scholarship is awarded to a student who has studied the field for at least one full semester before applying for the scholarship, according to Melissa Marscin, director of grant programs at CREF. To apply, each student completed an essay and submitted a letter of recommendation from Octavio Cavazos, instructor and chair of CLC’s automotive technology program. This is the first time CLC students have applied for and/or received this scholarship, according to Cavazos.
“Julie Brain is very intelligent, has great mechanical aptitude, and she’s very artistic, hard working, tough-skinned yet very, very kind,” Cavazos commented. “She is a model student, very talented and very dedicated to being successful in her studies in a male-dominated field.”
Brain, who said she was “excited and surprised” to learn she received the scholarship, stated that she likes the art and technology of painting cars and eventually would like to work in an auto body shop. “I tell women not to be intimidated by the men, because as long as you put your mind to it, a woman can work in this field as well as a man can,” said Brain, who plans to earn an A.A.S. degree in 2017.
Morales “has a passion to learn and succeed I have not ever seen before,” said Cavazos. “Along with his fiancée and best friend, David was struck by a vehicle last December. He suffered many injuries and was unable to attend classes in the last two weeks of the fall semester. But he did not let this unfortunate event stop him. From his hospital bed, he reached out to all his instructors and made arrangements to complete all homework and final exams online. When the Spring (2016) Semester began, David was sitting in the front row, with his crutches, bandages, books, tools and his passion to learn.
“David has taken upon himself to further educate himself beyond the course learning objectives. One way he has done this is by reaching out to local body shops and arranging several site visits,” said Cavazos.
Morales, who said he was “very excited and happy” to receive the scholarship, remarked that he also appreciates the program’s hands-on learning, networking opportunities and career choices. He plans to earn his A.A.S. degree, start as a collision repair technician and then explore his options, ranging from sales and management to training.
For more information, visit www.clcillinois.edu/programs/acr.