DIAMOND BAR, Calif. The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) is awarding 93 students more than $130,000 in scholarships for the 2008-2009 academic year. The SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund began awarding scholarships to students pursuing careers in the automotive industry in 1984.
"SEMA is pleased to reward the hard work of these students and provide financial assistance to support their education and career goals,” said Paul “Scooter” Brothers, SEMA Scholarship Committee chairman. "We are consistently amazed by what our scholarship winners have accomplished in their academic careers.
“By investing in the education of these young people, we are investing in the future of our industry. Their academic achievements as well as their leadership and volunteer activities speak to their commitment to make a difference in the automotive industry.”
Sophomores enrolled in two-year universities or colleges, and students in vocational or technical schools received $1,000. Graduates and undergraduates with at least a junior standing at a four-year school received $2,000 to $4,000.
To qualify for the scholarships, each student must have a minimum 2.5 grade-point average and be enrolled in an accredited university, college or proprietary program.
Although SEMA affiliation is not a requirement of the scholarships, added consideration is given to employees of, and relatives of employees at SEMA member companies. This year, seven scholarships were awarded to relatives and employees of SEMA member companies, including: Daniel Kaskinen, Kaskinen Auto Sales; James Kuklewski, ADAC Technologies (ADAC Plastics, Inc.); Patrick Stasko, Design Engineering, Inc.; Joe Von Dohlen, Flowmaster Inc.; Mitchell Langford, Stylin’ Trucks (Division of Whitney Automotive Group); Austin Dodd, Midwest Wheel Companies; Martin Balgach, National Business Media.
As a benefit of SEMA membership, SEMA also presented the Loan Forgiveness Scholarship Award to qualified graduates with outstanding student loans, who have worked at a SEMA member company for at least one year. This program was developed four years ago as further incentive for students to seek employment in the automotive specialty equipment industry upon graduation. Seven employees of SEMA member companies received $1,000 paid directly to their loan company to satisfy outstanding student loans.
The complete list of 2008 scholarship winners is posted at www.sema.org/scholarship.