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Scholarships

Piston Foundation Creates Fund for Auto Restoration Students 

This year, 10 scholarships were given in the name of Frank Buonanno, the founder of Black Horse Garage in Bridgeport, CT.

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The Piston Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity launched in January 2021, has awarded 10 Piston Fund scholarships to its inaugural class of 2022-23 Piston Scholars.

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The Piston Foundation is a national public charity that was created to provide post-secondary educational opportunities and funding to students interested in pursuing hands-on careers in the collector car industry.

“Because of the generous gifts of our donors in the car enthusiast community, these students will be able to pursue their dreams and build careers as collector car technicians and restoration specialists,” said Robert Minnick, founder and CEO of The Piston Foundation.

“We have worked hard to reach this point after only a year and a half since our launch. Our team is very proud to be awarding our first 10 scholarships. As we continue with our mission, we look forward to presenting many more scholarships in the future.”

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Three of the 10 awards were given in the name of Frank Buonanno, the founder of Black Horse Garage in Bridgeport, Connecticut, under the aegis of the Frank Buonanno Scholarship Fund, which was created by the Foundation and John Buonanno to honor John’s father.

Black Horse Garage’s Frank Buonanno shares his skills with the next generation. (Christopher McNeil Photography image)

The 10 inaugural awardees come from across the U.S. and were selected on the basis of their demonstrated interests in a skilled trade career in collector car restoration and their related experiences, as communicated through their applications, personal statements, and video essays. Their academic records, letters of recommendation, and financial needs also contributed to the selection.

Each awardee will receive up to $5,000 for an academic year. Awards are for undergraduate study only and each awardee may receive a scholarship up to two times.

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The scholarship committee responsible for reviewing applications and awarding scholarships is made up of Piston Foundation leadership, select Foundation advisors, and industry partners.

Here is the list of the 2022-23 inaugural recipients of the Piston Fund Scholarships:

  • Edwin John Buiter, Sophomore, McPherson College
  • Victoria Bruno, Senior, McPherson College
  • Zoe Carmichael, Junior, McPherson College
  • Jasper A. Fedders, Junior, McPherson College
  • Ethan Bradford Heck, Freshman, Lanier Technical College
  • Jacob Koehn, Junior, McPherson College
  • Dryden Lee Powell, Junior, McPherson College
  • Joseph Scheidel, Freshman, McPherson College
  • Joshua Jay Warner, Freshman, McPherson College
  • Sean Gandy Whetstone, Junior, McPherson College

Additional information on the students may be found here.

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