During its reception at the Sands Expo Center on Tues., Nov. 1, the Car Care Council Women’s Board (WB) presented Michelle Perez of Half Moon Bay, Calif. with a $2,500 post-secondary scholarship, as part of the WB scholarship program, now in its ninth year.
"The Women’s Board Scholarship Committee received many applications from talented and deserving young women from across the country," said WB President Ruth Ehlinger, AAA. "I am thrilled to congratulate Michelle on her accomplishments thus far, and her dedication to pursuing a career in the automotive industry."
Perez attends Skyline College in San Bruno, Calif., where she is currently enrolled in the automotive technician certification program. Upon completion, she will move to the generic auto tech program to further her studies in automotive technology. Prior to Skyline College, Perez took auto body courses, including collision, finishing and upholstery, at the Wyoming Technical Institute. She put her auto body education to use when she took a job at Midcoast Aviation in St. Louis, Mo., where she maintained the interior wood grain on private jets. Perez plans to take business courses in the future and hopes to one day own an automotive repair shop with her father.
In addition to going to school and working full-time in the maintenance dispatch operation of the Westlake Village Apartments, Perez holds a leadership position in the women’s auto tech club, Heart Wrenchers, where she is in charge of event coordination. Through Heart Wrenchers, her charity involvement includes a workshop for local Girl Scouts to help earn automotive badges and offering affordable car care to low income families.
"I believe with my commitment to Heart Wrenchers and my determination to make a place for myself within the automotive industry and also with the support of my community, I can and will make a difference, not only to better my life for the time that I am here, but for decades to come," said Perez. "This scholarship will greatly help me to accomplish this amazing goal that is not distant, but one that is very much in close reach."
Chelsea Crisp, Strafford, N.H., Amanda Paris, Bend, Ore. and Mariana Sceggell, Center Conway, N.H. won the $1,000 technician scholarships.