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Saturday, 12 March 2016 02:16

UTI Houston Student Puts the Brakes on Auto Technician Stereotypes

Jasmine Storey

Jasmine Storey

One of five children, Jasmine Storey, 24, grew up loving competition and playing football, boxing and basketball in her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. After graduating from Morrow High School in 2009, her parents urged her to enroll at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida, to pursue a business administration degree.

Three years into her undergraduate degree and feeling unchallenged mentally, she knew that sitting behind a desk wasn’t the career she wanted. After watching countless episodes of MTV’s hit series “Pimp My Ride,” Jasmine had no doubt she wanted to pursue a career in the automotive field.

Although her parents struggled with her decision, Jasmine enrolled at the Universal Technical Institute (UTI) Houston campus in September 2015. She’s currently in the Collision Repair and Refinish Technology (CRRT) program, which is designed to teach students how to repair non-structural and structural automobile damage as well as how to prepare cost estimates on all phases of repair and refinishing. It is developed in close partnership with I-CAR — a provider of collision repair training standards as defined by the industry, including car manufacturers, insurance companies and employers.

“My parents, who didn’t go to college, thought getting a four-year degree was the only way to have a successful career and reach my full potential,” Storey said. “But UTI has challenged me mentally more than college ever did and I actually have a passion for what I’m learning. My favorite classes are the structural classes because they force me to think critically and solve problems.”

“For too long we’ve accepted as truth that a college degree is the only way to get ahead and we’ve overlooked the gifts, talents and significant contributions of students who don’t fit the four-year mold,” UTI Houston Campus President Darrin Brust said. “Jasmine is a perfect example of that. She learns best not from books and lectures but by digging in and doing.”

As far as being a female in a male-dominated industry, Jasmine absolutely loves it. She thrives on the competition that her male counterparts bring every day and she enjoys living out her passion with other like-minded people.

“I want to inspire females to follow their passion,” Storey said. “A career in CRRT doesn’t make you any less of a woman.”

Jasmine’s passion — in addition to one ironic incident — has helped her gain support from her family. One week after starting at UTI, her parents’ car was scratched, leaving them in shock over both the amount of the repair bill and work needed to fix it.

Her passion is evidenced by her 3.85 GPA, three perfect attendance awards and several scholarships. She’s even using her partially-acquired business administration degree to write up the business plan for her own collision repair shop that she’ll call “She Auto Know”. And although she graduates in September 2016, Jasmine already has two job offers waiting for her, which is not entirely uncommon for UTI students.*

By the year 2024, the U.S. Department of Labor projects there will be more than 1.2 million jobs in the automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine industries. The transportation industry will have to fill an average of more than 37,000 job openings every year to help meet the need.**

“We are proud to have Jasmine be a part of our program and we look forward to seeing her become an asset to the automotive/collision repair industry,” Brust said.

To learn more about UTI and its CRRT program, visit www.uti.edu 

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