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SEMA scholarships help 119 pursue careers in the automotive industry – Repairer Driven News

One hundred and nineteen people pursuing careers in collision repair and other segments of the automotive industry have received help paying for their education through the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund.
The 2022 winners include 103 students who received scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, and 16 employees of SEMA member companies who received loan forgiveness awards to help pay off student loans.
A total of $297,250 was awarded, making the average award nearly $2,500.
“The SEMA Scholarship Program receives some incredibly impressive applications from students every year,” said SEMA Manager of Recognition Programs Chris Standifer. “This year’s applications were especially noteworthy. The accomplishments, dedication, and passion that came through the applications was remarkable. We’re pleased and honored to be able to support so many individuals through the program.”
The scholarship program in its current form was established in 1984 to help support the future of the aftermarket industry. Since then, more than $3 million in awards have been made. “There are many career tracks and opportunities in the automotive industry,” Standifer said. “We’re here to support students from all majors. Winners go on to pursue a variety of careers; the common denominator is their love for automobiles.”
Standifer explained to Repairer Driven News that the scholarship application period begins in January, and stays open through March. “Once they have submitted an application, they are judged by industry leaders, and scholarship winners are decided on criteria that mostly revolves around their passion for the automotive industry. After that, scholarship winners are invited to attend the SEMA Show to meet with and network with peers and industry leaders,” he said.
The collision repair industry can best tap into this resource by “encouraging students to apply, letting them know that you see a future in this industry for them, and that this is a way to get some assistance to reaching that goal,” Standifer told RDN.
“Awareness is the most important thing,” he said. The SEMA Scholarship website, https://sites.sema.org/scholarships/, has the criteria and information for application and will have a link to the application when it launches in January.

To qualify for a scholarship, an applicant must be at least 18 years old, and a citizen of the U.S. Each applicant must “demonstrate passion for the automotive hobby and career,” and must be enrolled in a college, university, or post-secondary career and technology school in the U.S. Incoming freshmen are eligible. Scholarships may be applied towards tuition, fees, books, equipment and supplies that are required for coursework.
Loan Forgiveness applicants must be employed by a SEMA member business; must demonstrate a passion for the automotive hobby and career; must have a degree or certificate from a college, university, or career tech school in the U.S.; and must have at least $2,000 in outstanding student loans. Loan Forgiveness awards may be applied toward outstanding student loan debt.
The online application for next year’s program will open in January 2023 at www.sema.org/scholarships.

Recipient (Institution Name, Major)
Recipient (Employer, Institution Name, Major)
For more about the SEMA Scholarship program, or to make a donation, visit https://sites.sema.org/scholarships.
Featured image by AlexLMX/iStock
From left, scholarship recipients Michael Langdon, Kyle Janssen, and Boni Yraguen. (SEMA)
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