Scholarships rev up TSTC automotive students

Texas State Technical College Automotive Technology students in Harlingen and Waco will receive scholarships thanks to a San Antonio-based automotive organization.

The non-profit Community of Automotive Professionals, which runs CarFest in San Antonio, rewarded TSTC’s Automotive Technology students for participating in last year’s event with a $30,000 check for scholarships and equipment.  

The five TSTC students in Harlingen who were awarded $500 scholarships are Christopher Aguilar, Luis Barrientos, Christopher Machado, Jose Munoz, Noel Soto and Joshua Vasquez.

To be eligible for a scholarship, TSTC in Harlingen and Waco Automotive Technology students must maintain a 3.25 grade-point average.

Many of the students who received the scholarship have also helped at CarFest with setup, takedown and vehicle maintenance.  

“Many students struggle to come to school because of economic stresses,” said TSTC Automotive Technology instructor Miguel Zoleta. “The scholarships give students the opportunity to use the automotive scholarships to pay for tuition, books, tools and other expenses such as gas and meals.”

Vasquez, who is pursuing an associate degree in Automotive Technology, said he was overcome with surprise and gratitude when he learned he was a scholarship recipient.

“By getting this scholarship I am able to continue pursuing a childhood dream: becoming a college graduate,” said Vasquez. “I was homeschooled and choosing a career was difficult, but I knew I loved working with my hands. TSTC’s automotive program was a good choice for me.”

Vasquez said there are not enough words to express his gratitude toward the Community of Automotive Professionals and to his TSTC instructors for believing in him and giving him this opportunity.

Machado, also an Automotive Technology student, shared the same sentiment and said he was humbled to have been selected for this scholarship.

“I never expected this to happen,” said Machado. “This is going to help get me get closer to building my career and a successful future.”

Machado already works in Walmart’s automotive department and added that this scholarship will allow him to excel in studies and pursue his dream of one day owning an automotive business.

TSTC in Waco Automotive Technology students who also received a scholarship are Patrick Bruce, David Davis, Ramiro Hernandez, Jaeshon Jackson, Patrick Kaltenbach, Kevin Le, Krystal Marshall, Jens Moen, Joel Ramirez, Samuel Shimek, Shelby Terry, Gabriella Villarreal, Ricardo Villegas and Andrew Whatley.

TSTC in Harlingen and Waco Automotive Technology students will once again participate in this year’s CarFest 2019 from April 5-7 at Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio.

For more information on TSTC Automotive Technology, visit tstc.edu.