Friday, 01 May 2020 17:43

2020 Scholarship Recipients Announced by WIN


There are 11 new recipients of the 2020 Women's Industry Network (WIN) College Student Tuition and Conference Scholarship Award.

The awards are presented annually to deserving students enrolled in a post-secondary collision repair technology programs. Each recipient receives a $1,000 scholarship to continue their post-secondary education in collision repair and complimentary registration to attend the 2021 WIN Educational Conference.


Recipients are also provided the opportunity to be mentored by one of the Most Influential Women (MIW) honorees or a member of the WIN Board of Directors.


“With the support of our sponsors and members, WIN is able to offer scholarships and financial assistance to multiple female students each year to help them advance in the collision repair industry,” said Debbie Menz, 2020 co-chair of the sponsorship committee. ““WIN understands that the cost of education, or continued education, has the potential to be a hurdle for students. So, this stipend, along with actual mentoring opportunities and interfacing with other, successful women in the collision repair marketplace, have proven to be one of the real pillars of the WIN organization.”


The 2020 recipients include:

Melissa Acosta, Tampa, FL

Acosta attends Hillsborough Community College in Tampa. She feels the opportunities in the collision fields are endless, so she knew she would have a variety of options to choose from for her career. She plans to start as an estimator and work on building her skills. Someday she hopes to become a shop manager or even a CEO for a paint distribution company.


Acosta has made the Dean’s List as a result of her outstanding academic performance, and is very active in volunteering in various groups at her college. 


Taylor Berglund, Beaverton, OR

Berglund attends Portland Community College in Portland, OR. She has maintained a 4.00 GPA since she began her college career in auto collision repair. She has also earned her place on the President’s List.


Berglund is a volunteer for the Tualatin Valley Young Marines Program. All adult volunteers must complete six weeks of boot camp consisting of learning first aid, Marine Corps history and courtesies. Additionally, they must complete a personal fitness test that closely follows the Marine Corps PFT. Berglund is the awards officer for the TVYM Program.


After completing her fall term with another 4.00 GPA, Berglund was offered a spot in the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Her long term ambition is to own her own shop. She aspires to have an all-female staff with the intention to encourage women to feel more comfortable while having car work done. 

Jamie Frey, Windsor, CO

Frey attends Aims Community College in Windsor. She has been around cars her entire life, growing up with her father, who was a machinist. She was introduced to drag racing at a very young age and began drag racing herself at the age of 8.


Frey is an extremely motivated person. Despite working, going to school full-time and being a single mother of three children, she still finds time for community service. Frey holds an officer position in the automotive club at her school. The club builds and maintains a 1999 Chevy Camaro. The club also helps at a local food pantry, supports local car shows and raises money for childhood cancer.


Frey has competed in SkillsUSA both on the regional level and national level. Her long term goal is to own her own shop. 

Errin Gill, Mount Dora, FL

Gill attends Lake Technical College in Eustis, FL. She loves to take a vehicle that is damaged or faded and turn it into something beautiful again. Her interest began when, as a young child, she worked on her father’s car with him. After graduating, she plans to continue her education by earning a four-year business degree, which she will use to she will start her career.


While young in her career, she wants to be a painter, but as her skills progress, she hopes to open her own restoration shop. Once she is established, she hopes to offer opportunities for students to intern at her shop, to give back to the industry. In her spare time, she volunteers to represent her school at community events.  


Katheryn Hasty, Topeka, KS

Hasty attends Washburn Tech in Topeka. Her interest in the collision repair industry began when her mother received a repaired minivan from a collision repair school through the National Auto Body Council Recycled Rides program. She learned how the students had taken the wrecked vehicle and turned it back into its original form.


In attending Washburn, Hasty learned there is much more to the repair process than simply painting and removing dents. She was soon educated in the detailing, estimating and repair processes. Her two favorite areas are painting and welding.


Since she is attending the same school that fixed her mother’s minivan, Hasty also gets to work on cars with the Recycled Rides program. She participates in the Skills local chapter and helps with Toys For Tots.


Hasty's long term goal is to work in the collision repair industry painting cars. 


Brooke Kline, Winona, MN

Kline attends South Central College in North Mankato, MN. Her interest in cars began at a very early age, when she and her father would spend countless hours watching Chip Foose’s show, Overhaulin'. Once she began her auto collision classes at South Central, she immediately knew this is where she belonged, and every day since it has been a dream come true. 


Kline is currently the president of the SkillsUSA Club at South Central College. In 2018, she was awarded first place at the state competition for automotive refinishing technology. She continued to the national competition in Louisville, KY, and placed fourth. She was registered to compete again this year.


Kline's long term goal is to own and operate her own collision and restoration shop. She hopes to become a role model for other women entering this career. 

Breanna Ramirez, Katy, TX

Ramirez attends Universal Technical Institute in Houston, TX. She loves working with her hands and has been interested in cars since she was young. Ramirez has an interest in competitive driving, drag racing and car shows.


She volunteers her time by coaching a grade school soccer team and helps the community of Galveston, TX, by cleaning the beaches each summer. Ramirez also volunteers at the Houston Truck Show each year, checking in trucks.


Ramirez's long term goal is to work full-time in the industry while completing her business degree. Her dream is to own her own collision shop. She hopes someday to be a part of the force working to improve the image of the industry and hopes to make a positive difference in the industry. 

Lilian Reed, Kimberly, ID

Reed attends the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls, ID. She is one of our very few multi-year scholarship winners; she was also a 2019 WIN scholarship recipient.  


Reed has been participating in SkillsUSA both locally and in Louisville, KY, since her junior year in high school. Last year, she took third place at the state level. She would like to continue competing and wants to coach the new class of college students competing in SkillsUSA.


Reed has received her intermediate technical certificate from the College of Southern Idaho and is now moving forward with both a liberal arts and applied science degree. She plans to complete these degrees by the end of 2021.


After graduation, she plans to go to work in a shop and increase her skills as a painter. Reed would like to work at Creative Auto in Idaho Falls, where they perform custom work. Her long term goal is to become an instructor.  


Kristina Tedesco, Ridgebury, PA

Tedesco attends Ohio Technical College in Cleveland, OH. She is from a small town and grew up believing her options were limited. She was very involved in FFA throughout her high school years, and received the Keystone State FFA degree, the highest degree awarded. Then her high school went to tour the local vocational center, where she was introduced to collision repair.


Tedesco joined SkillsUSA and held the president’s position for two years. She quickly knew she had found her future career and began making plans to attend Ohio Technical to earn her associate's degree in applied sciences in collision repair.


She feels the national FFA organization and SkillsUSA showed her hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard. She now feels she is right where she needs to be.

Nichole Turner, Grand Island, FL

Turner attends Lake Technical College in Eustis, FL. She became interested in the automotive collision industry by witnessing the admiration people have for their vehicles. She feels owning a vehicle is part of the American dream, allowing for expression of freedom, individuality and wanderlust.


Turner would love to have a place to teach girls and women how to repair and maintain their own vehicles. She imagines it to be a space where women can inspire and empower each other by following their dreams.


Turner donates her spare time to support St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Elyssa Wilson, Liscomb, NS

Wilson attends Nova Scotia Community College in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. She has always enjoyed hands-on work, vehicles and meticulous work.


She began her career in collision repair in May 2019 at Highway 7 Collision Centre in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. There she developed base skills and an understanding of the process and trade. Wilson then decided to attend college and take the motor vehicle body repair program. Her plan is to complete each apprenticeship level and pass her Red Seal certification exam. The Red Seal is the highest collision repair certification in Nova Scotia.


Wilson looks forward to being a role model for young women who want to work in a traditionally male-dominated trade.


Source: WIN