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Collision Repair Education Foundation and AkzoNobel award women scholarships

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Aug. 8 2011 – Women pursuing a career in the collision industry are not only out to prove what they can do as individuals – they’re out to demonstrate that girls can do the job. In an effort to encourage young women to continue their education in collision repair, the Collision Repair Education Foundation, with help from AkzoNobel and The Most Influential Women of the Collision Repair Industry, has awarded scholarships to young women attending secondary and post-secondary vocational education programs.

The top scholarship winner in the Secondary category is Rosalva Andrade, a student at Dennis Technical Education center in Boise, Idaho. Rosalva will receive a $5,000 scholarship to continue her education and career.

“Ever since I was a little girl, I have always dreamed of doing something with cars, anything really at first,” Andrade said. “Because I was a girl, I had to work twice as hard to how that I really was in the class for the right reasons, but I never gave up. It is hard being a girl in any man’s field because some people think that girls can’t do the job; I would like this opportunity to show other girls that they can also do anything they want.”

The top scholarship winner in the Post-Secondary category is Jessica Gauthier; a student at Green River Community College in Auburn, Wash. Jessica will also be awarded a $5,000 scholarship to continue her education and career in the collision industry. Jessica demonstrated her love of the industry in her essay for the scholarship award.

“I was raised in the collision repair industry. My dad was, in my eyes, the greatest auto body technician alive. I loved going to the shop and being his helper; there was nothing like the smell of bondo on a Saturday morning after breakfast,” Gauthier said. “Being able to prove myself as a woman in an educational setting of the industry and how I was able to handle that situation will make it easier as I return to the workplace after graduation. Just because I am a female does not mean that I can’t fix a damaged vehicle, and that is what I will show the industry once again. In my future I foresee my name becoming a household name for collision repair.”

In addition to Andrade and Gaultier, six runner-up scholarships were awarded to students from career and technical schools and colleges around the United States. Each runner-up will receive a $2,500 scholarship to continue their education. In the Secondary category, the runners up are Carol Davis (Sevier County High School – Sevierville, Tenn.); Aleah Mims (Scarlet Oaks Career Development Center – Cincinnati, Ohio); and Nicolette Cole (Muscle Shoals Center for Technology – Muscle Shoals, Ala.)

In the Post-Secondary category, the Education Foundation congratulates Jessica Crowley (College of Western Idaho – Nampa, Idaho), Michele Marie Geis (Lewis-Clark State College – Lewiston, Idaho), and Ashley Paegel (South Central College – North Mankato, Minn.).

Established in 1999, The Most Influential Women of the Collision Repair Industry program annually recognizes the leadership contributions that are made by a unique group of individuals that have dedicated themselves to the betterment of the industry and their communities.

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