The Women’s Industry Network (WIN) is once again holding its Scholarship Walk during the 2024 Annual Conference, scheduled for 7 a.m. PT May 7 for both in-person and virtual participants. This initiative is not just a walk; it's a stride towards empowering the future of women in the collision repair industry.

This year's conference, themed "Dream Out Loud," is dedicated to fostering professional growth and providing financial assistance to women pursuing careers in collision repair. The conference, taking place May 6-8 at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach, CA, will offer a robust agenda including industry programming, keynote speakers and networking opportunities, as well as the Scholarship Walk.

“It is important to raise money so we are able to continually increase both scholarship dollars and tool kit supplies amounts," said Laura Kottschade, WIN Student Relations co-chair. "Because of the excellent fundraiser last year, we were able to provide five additional tools to each tool kit and next year hoping to add more scholarships.

"We’re also hoping for a few additional tier levels planned out, which will expand our scholarship reach once again! In fact, with additional fundraising, we’re planning one to include a new scholarship specifically for techs already in the industry," Kottschade continued. "All these monies raised increases industry retention rates because once students are out of school, they can utilize their new knowledge and tools and immediately seek fulltime employment.”

Applications for 2024 WIN scholarships, held in conjunction this year with CREF, are still open until March 8. For more information about the scholarship program, click here. To apply for a 2024 scholarship, click here.

The Scholarship Walk has evolved to accommodate wider participation, allowing individuals to join virtually or through community walks.

“This year we have separated the Scholarship Walk and the Scholarship Fundraiser to simplify it for participant involvement," according to April Keim and Christina Sepulveda, WIN Scholarship Fundraising co-chairs. "This will allow those who simply want to network and join in the Scholarship Walk to be able to while contributing to the scholarship fund with their entry fee. Additionally, we partnered with RallyUp and created the WIN Warriors Scholarship Fundraising that is free to join and will allow those inspired to raising money for the future women technicians of collision to do so as a team or solo and have some added fun with a team competition.”

Last year's walk set a new benchmark, raising close to $8,000 and drawing more than 130 participants and donors. The top three student winners and four leading industry teams were celebrated for their contributions.

For the 2024 Walk, the top fundraising teams will again be recognized with fun prizes, included in a national collision repair industry news release, and social media posts on all of WIN’s various platforms. Teams will be recognized for total dollars, creativity and more. To register and fundraise on behalf of a team, visit this link.

For more information or to participate in the Scholarship Walk, visit the WIN website.

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