AkzoNobel has announced the six students in its 2015 Sustainability Challenge Grant program. In its second year, the program awarded $50,000 in grant funding to selected high schools and colleges with collision repair programs to advance continuous improvement and sustainable business principles.
The students were nominated by their instructors for exemplifying exceptional leadership, initiative and commitment. They led teams of students at their respective schools in developing a grant proposal based upon an idea that would improve the school’s collision repair shop and how it interacts with the surrounding school, community or environment.
The students honored for their innovation, leadership and teamwork are:
- Hunter Brakefield — Applied Technology Center, Rock Hill, South Carolina
- Cesar Mercado — WallaWalla Community College, Walla Walla, Washington
- Angel Myers — Norwalk High School, Norwalk, California
- Cole Woods — Freedom High School, Freedom, Wisconsin
- Nicholas Shah — Thomas A. Edison High School, Jamaica, New York
- Evan Vail — Applied Technology Center, Rock Hill, South Carolina
“The goal of the Sustainability Challenge Grant is to inspire and challenge those who are preparing for a career in collision repair to seek out ways to improve the way our industry interacts with its community and environment,” said Doug Holmberg, business director for AkzoNobel’s Vehicle Refinishes business in North America. “These outstanding students represent the future of our industry and we are proud of their initiative to help find ways to improve processes, increase social capital and advance environmentally friendly practices. We are pleased to recognize their achievement and leadership.”
Mark Dellinger, instructor at Applied Technology Center, added, “As an educator, the Sustainability Challenge Grant has provided me with an opportunity to talk with my students about how to improve practices in our collision repair shop and how that knowledge can be applied in the real world. By creating teams to develop an idea for a grant proposal and implement that idea, the students have had an opportunity to hone their leadership, planning and presentation skills.”
The Sustainability Challenge Grant aims to jumpstart awareness and innovation about sustainable business practices and continuous improvement among collision repair students and their instructors. The grant is sponsored by AkzoNobel and administered by the Collision Repair Education Foundation.