CREF Facilitates More Than $130K in Awards to Nearly 90 Collision Students

Published Aug. 14, 2023

The Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) is proud to announce the recipients of its 2023 Scholarships and Tool Grants, funded through the generosity of a multitude of industry partners, both small and large. 

With the industry’s support, CREF funded more than $130,000 in 2023 scholarships and tool grants, benefitting nearly 90 individual collision students, as part of its ongoing efforts to support future collision repair industry professionals as they obtain their educations.

“CREF is honored to recognize these outstanding students through the 2023 scholarships and tool grants,” said Melissa Marscin, director of operations and administration for CREF. “These students are truly committed to pursuing their education and in becoming part of the collision industry, and we hope these awards help to contribute to their successful careers.”

3M funded more than $30,000 in scholarships and tool grants to benefit military veterans around the country and help them further their careers. In addition to a $2,000 Hire Our Heroes Scholarship and three traditional Hire Our Heroes Tool Grants, valued at $1,500 each, 3M also awarded $500 tool grants to 50 students, with eligibility being established through completion of an abridged application. 

3M’s 2023 Hire Our Heroes Family Scholarship was awarded to Zachary Castner, Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton, WI.

Three traditional Hire Our Heroes Tool Grants, valued at $1,500 each, were awarded to:

  • Anthony Cady, Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, IA
  • Ian Irwin, Hillsborough Community College, Tampa, FL
  • Dawson Olnes, Metropolitan Community College, Omaha, NE

In its 11th year, the annual Hire Our Heroes program is a part of 3M’s ongoing efforts to provide military veterans with educational opportunities in the collision repair industry, and the grants are open to collision repair students who currently serve, or recently served, in the U. S. military. Since 3M began the Hire Our Heroes program in 2013, more than $1.2 million in scholarships and tool grants have been awarded to more than 330 military veterans and their immediate family members pursuing a career in collision repair. Criteria to be considered for the Hire Our Heroes awards and grants includes financial need, future plans and past academic achievement.

Three lucky students were named the recipients of this year’s Adelmann Family Scholarships and Tool Grants. Each 2023 winner will receive a $5,000 scholarship and $2,000 toward tools to be used during their educational training, with an additional $2,000 tool grant being awarded upon job placement within the industry.

The recipients of the 2023 Adelmann Family Scholarships and Tool Grants include:

  • Antonio M Diaz, Kennedy King College, Chicago, IL
  • Matthew Nordahl, Dunwoody College of Technology, Minneapolis, MN
  • Makiah Stacy, Des Moines Area Community College, Ankeny, IA

Borne of a desire to amplify CREF’s efforts to help schools and students at a higher level, the scholarships were established in 2021 by retired industry veteran Tim Adelmann as a means of leaving a lasting legacy on the industry he loves.

Four students with a special interest in the painting segment of the industry will receive scholarships funded by the PPG Foundation. Each recipient will be awarded $5,000 which will help recipients fund their education and ensure they have the opportunity to pursue a future career in the collision repair industry.

Recipients of PPG’s 2023 student scholarships, who will receive $5,000 each, include:

  • Taison Long, Hudson Valley Community College, Troy, NY
  • Reimy Santiago De La Cruz, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, Lancaster, PA
  • Arthur Stan, Portland Community College, Portland, OR
  • Kade Stahl, Lake Area Technical College, Watertown, SD

BASF awarded six tool grants, valued at $2,000 each, to deserving students as a way to help them prepare for their future collision industry careers. 

Recipients of BASF’s 2023 tool grants include:

  • Kyara Cowan, Kennedy King College, Chicago, IL
  • Gabriela Diaz, Kennedy King College, Chicago, IL
  • Elisaa McAdams, Nashville Auto Diesel College, Nashville, TN
  • Brent Paige, Santana High School, Santee, CA
  • Kaden Riehl, Lancaster County Career and Technology Center, Willow Street, PA
  • Diego Velez, Metropolitan Community College, Omaha, NE

OEM Roundtable is excited to announce it funded five post-secondary collision student scholarships, valued at $2,000 each, through CREF. 

Recipients of OEM Roundtable’s 2023 scholarships include:

  • Hannah Eveland, Minnesota State College Southeast, Winona, MN
  • Eric Corona, Kennedy-King College, Chicago, IL
  • Jackson Dao, Lexington Technology Center, Lexington, SC
  • Jovie Skinner, Rosedale Technical College, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Aucasia Berry, Lawson State Community College, Birmingham, AL

Stay connected to the number one source of collision repair news!

Subscribe now to your region’s monthly magazine, in print and/or digital, and to receive our weekly e-newsletters, delivered directly to your inbox.

Shop & Product Showcase (SPS)

  • Read testimonials from real collision repair shops about the tools and technologies they use to get the job done.