What Has SEMA Done for You Lately?


Several students who attended a 2008 SEMA Show welcome reception received association scholarships, including Clemson University's Reza Saeidpourazar (far left), a $2,000 graduate award winner. SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting, second from left, is flanked by University of Northwestern Ohio students (L-R), Douglas Meyung, Eric Doke, Marcus McClean and Autumn Hawkins, all recipients of two-year scholarships. Joining them are SEMA Chairman Jim Cozzie (back row, left) and SEMA Scholarship Committee Chairman Paul "Scooter" Brothers.

Students! Don't miss the April 1, 2009 application deadline to apply for SEMA's four-year, two-year, graduate, loan forgiveness and member/dependent scholarships.

Over the past two decades, SEMA scholarships have supported over 400 students with more than $1,000,000 in scholarship awards. The SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund, founded in 1984 to foster leadership opportunities in the specialty-equipment marketplace, rewards the best and brightest students engaged in studies leading to careers in the automotive aftermarket or related fields.

In order to apply for the 2009 program, applicants must visit www.SEMA.org/scholarships to access the new online application. As in past years, the applicant must provide complete contact information, education history and work history. Scholarships will be awarded based on the selections of SEMA judges and the Scholarship Committee.

To qualify, applicants must have a 2.5 minimum GPA, 25 minimum credits for two-year scholarships, 50 minimum credits for four-year awards, proof that the student is in an automotive field of study and a completed application.

The applicant will also need to supply SEMA with two letters of recommendation, an essay and current official transcripts, which must be faxed separately. Working for a member company or being a dependent of an employee of a member company significantly enhances the applicant's chances.

Students Activities at the SEMA Show

During the 2008 SEMA Show, the association worked with exhibitors, sponsors and partners to create the new Student Program, which included a number of volunteer opportunities. The goal of the program was to provide each student with the chance to participate in an essential industry event.

The students were asked to select and identify their top three volunteer opportunities, and then SEMA staff placed each student in a volunteer program on a first-come, first-served basis, with consideration of the student's field of study or area of interest and his or her school's geographic region.
The list of volunteer opportunities included events such as the SEMA Show Luncheon and Keynote Address, the New Products Awards Breakfast, the Young Executives Network (YEN) Reception & Mentoring, the NHRA Breakfast, council receptions and the SEMA Awards Banquet.

Students who attended the SEMA Show under the volunteer program also participated in a full slate of activities. On Monday evening, November 3, before the Show began, they were invited to a welcome reception where they received Show materials.

On Wednesday morning, they attended a Student/Member Networking Breakfast, which provided an excellent networking opportunity to help the student attendees build new contacts and meet key leaders in the automotive industry. On Thursday, students attended a Student/Manufacturer Representative Networking Breakfast designed to help them learn about manufacturer representatives and meet additional industry leaders.

The student programs at the SEMA Show provide insider views on how the industry operates and give students key contacts and insight to help bridge the gap between school and a profession.

For information about similar programs during the 2009 SEMA Show, contact Nathan Ridnouer via e-mail at nathanr@sema.org or call 909/396-0289, ext. 137.