Las Lomas High School students Miles Millan and Sam Thomas-Saindon took second place in the Northern California AAA/Ford Auto Skills Competition finals recently held at Blackhawk Auto Museum in Danville.
A two-student team from Alhambra High School, Sanveer Garcha and Alfredo Gutierrez, took top honors, and will represent the state in the national contest in June in Michigan. The Walnut Creek team was taught by instructor Steve Boone.
The top teams receive a total of $133,000 in scholarship opportunities from some of the nation's top technical schools as well as a variety of other prizes from AAA.
"AAA values this program as a way to help position students to advance their education and become automotive technicians," said Cynthia Harris, AAA Northern California spokesperson in a news release. "As the top auto technology students in Northern California, these students deserve the opportunity to become the best-trained professional automotive technicians and enjoy personally satisfying and well-compensated careers that are beneficial to the motoring public."
The state championship was determined by a combination of results from a written qualifying exam and from the team's ability to quickly and accurately repair a deliberately disabled vehicle. Team scores were evaluated from the hands-on competition held in Danville. This event is designed to find the most talented young auto technicians in the United States, according to the release.
The California contest was one of 50 state competitions being held during April and May. The Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competition will award more than $10 million in scholarships at the state and national level combined and is held to encourage students to pursue rewarding career opportunities in automotive service.
To meet the education needs of Latinos in California, John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill has launched an initiative, taking the first steps with $100,000 in scholarships for the coming academic year.
"It is clear that the future of California's workforce and, in turn, its economy will be largely affected by the education levels of our Latino population," said Dr. Mac Powell, university president. "As we celebrate 50 years ... we are launching this Latino Education Initiative to help do our part to increase education attainment for California's Latino population."
Some $30,000 has been committed to diversity scholarships for the 2014-2015 academic year. Awards of $5,000 are available for Latino students focused on completing their bachelor's degree or starting a graduate degree program this fall. Application information is available at www.jfku.edu.
Hope Academy for Dyslexics is registering children in grades 1-7 for a half-day summer program from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 16-July 11. The school, at 5353 Concord Blvd. in Concord, serves dyslexic children who struggle in the areas of reading, writing or spelling.
The four-week program fees are $1,000 per child. For information, call Laurey Ahonen at 925-687-7555 or go to www.hopeacademyconcord.org.
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