DIAMOND BAR, CA The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) announced this week that it has awarded a record $160,000 in scholarships this year. One-hundred-and-eleven students preparing for automotive industry careers received individual awards of up to $4,000.
The SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund, established in 1984, has supplied more than 600 students with more than $1,000,000 in scholarship awards over the past two decades.
“We are very proud of our scholarship awards,” said Mike Spagnola, SEMA Scholarship Committee chairman and president of Street Scene Equipment. “The SEMA memorial scholarships help motivate the next generation of industry leaders to complete their educations and pursue rewarding career opportunities.”
The program rewards the best and brightest students engaged in studies leading to a career in the automotive aftermarket or a related field. Sophomores 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. All students must have a minimum 2.5 grade-point average and be enrolled in an accredited university, college or proprietary program.
Nine scholarships were awarded to relatives and employees of SEMA member companies, including: Kaskinen Auto Sales; Olea Exhibits and Displays; Zoom Performance Products; Lund International; California Truck Works, Inc.; Classic Automotive Restoration; Medicine Man Rod Shop; World Products; and Hybrid Racing, LLC.
For the third year, 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 as further incentive for students to seek employment in the automotive aftermarket upon graduation. Eight employees of SEMA member companies received $1,000 paid directly to their loan companies to satisfy outstanding student loans.