15 automotive technician students awarded $100,000 in scholarships

Aug. 2, 2021
“Our industry thrives when we have talented technicians in the service bays, and we’re excited to celebrate these 15 students who are truly excelling in the field,” says Pep Boys CEO Brian Kaner.

In celebration of its centennial year in business, Pep Boys increased their annual Find Your Drive scholarship program to $100,000, awarding fifteen aspiring automotive technicians across the U.S.   

“For 100 years, Pep Boys has supported the technicians who keep America moving,” says Brian Kaner, CEO. “This year’s Find Your Drive scholarship program is another example of how we are preparing Pep Boys to serve the drivers of the future. Our industry thrives when we have talented technicians in the service bays, and we’re excited to celebrate these 15 students who are truly excelling in the field.”

Winners for this year's five $10,000 scholarships were selected from students studying to become professional automotive technicians in major metro areas: 

  • Valentin Davy, Miami, Florida – Universal Technical Institute, Orlando, Florida
  • Jonathan Cotto, Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico – Mech-Tech College Caguas, Puerto Rico
  • Eli Alvarez, Hutto, Texas – Texas State Technical College, Waco, Texas
  • Julien Vargas, Lehighton, Pennsylvania – Universal Technical Institute, Exton, Pennsylvania
  • Cecilia Ledesma, El Monte, California – Rio Hondo College, Whittier, California

The remaining ten $5,000 scholarships were awarded to students studying in other areas in the U.S.: 

  • John Paul Jansen, Bellevue, Nebraska – Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas
  • Kasey Tarantino, Pennsburg, Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania College of Technology, Williamsport, Pennsylvania
  • Hannah Armstrong, Shamrock, Texas – Universal Technical Institute, Irving, Texas
  • Esperanza Murguia, San Dimas, California – Universal Technical Institute, Avondale, Arizona
  • Daniel Gorski, Chicago, Illinois – Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, Carbondale, Illinois
  • Mark Jones, Mountainside, New Jersey– Ohio Technical College, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Erick Poole, Waukegan, Illinois – Lincoln Technical Institute, Melrose Park, Illinois
  • Nicail Andres Ruiz Alcaide, San Juan, Puerto Rico – Mech-Tech College, Caguas, Puerto Rico
  • Derek Deddo, Midlothian, Illinois – Lincoln Technical Institute, Melrose Park, Illinois
  • Zachariah Riehle, Milan, Indiana – University of Northwestern Ohio, Lima, Ohio

In addition to the scholarship, the winners have the opportunity to be recognized and be a part of the #PepBoysRoadTrip. The #PepBoysRoadTrip is a part of the company's celebration of its 100th year in business where they are driving a Pep Boys-branded bus around the country to visit communities they serve.

Pep Boys Find Your Drive scholarship program is part of their larger "Race to 2026" initiative. The initiative's goal is to help increase the number of trained technicians, therefore, helping to fill the talent gap that is projected to grow to 46,000 over the next five years. To learn more about Pep Boys' "Race to 2026" initiative visit pepboys.com

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