Jackie Craig has always had an interest in automobiles, which led her to pursue a career in them.
“I have always wondered how cars work,” said Craig. “I always liked cars. When I was a little kid I can remember being able to point out what car it was.”
Craig was presented the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship, along with fellow winner Jaime Moreno Thursday, Nov. 14.
The scholarship includes a $2,000 scholarship toward their education and a Westward ® toolkit upon successful completion of the student’s technical education program. The toolkit is worth more than $1,000 and has over 380 pieces in it.
Craig and Moreno are graduating in May 2014 with an Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Service Technology through the Honda PACT (Professional Automotive Career Training).
“The scholarship gives us a head start on getting our tools,” said Moreno. He is working at Honda right now as a lube technician.
“Technical education is important because the people who go into it keep the country going,” Richard Cota, a Grainger branch manager, said.
Craig currently works for a Honda dealership and wants to work her way up in the company. She hopes to have an apprenticeship at the Honda dealership when she graduates in May 2014.
Moreno hopes he can combine his love of cars and his entrepreneurial side one day. “It just started to be a passion for me when I started working on cars.. Down the road, I want to start my own mobile mechanic business where I can service clients wherever they are.”
He chose GateWay because it was a good fit for him.
“When you are looking for a school you are looking at the price the competitors have and GateWay seemed to fit what I needed,” Moreno said.
Grainger has been providing these scholarships since 2006 as part of a national effort to support students and veterans who are studying electronic systems, heating/air conditioning, plumbing, pneumatics, welding, automotive, construction, facilities maintenance and other industrial trades.
“Education in itself is expensive, any leg up is helpful. We want them to do well,” said Cota.
To learn more about GateWay's automotive program, please visit http://www.gatewaycc.edu/automotive