SEMA Presents $119,000 in Scholarships to Future Industry Leaders

A total of $119,000 in scholarships is being distributed to 73 students through the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund (SMSF), a program administered by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) to foster leadership opportunities in the specialty-equipment marketplace and to support educational goals for students.

“We’re honored to present the awards to this year’s SEMA scholarship winners,” said Tom Myroniak, SEMA Vice President, Marketing and Member Services. “The applications that came through were truly impressive and reflective of an amazing and talented group. We’re now looking forward to watching these individuals continue their education and pursue careers in the exciting SEMA industry.”

The SMSF received 551 qualified applications on or before the deadline in April 2009. From those, 74 individuals were chosen as winners, including 14 recent graduates who applied for the loan forgiveness program.

Introduced five years ago, the Loan Forgiveness Program offers individuals who have been working for a SEMA member company for at least one year the opportunity to receive $1,000 to pay for his or her existing student loan. Like the scholarships, the loan forgiveness program was developed as an incentive for students to seek employment in the automotive specialty-equipment industry upon graduation.

Also of note, 20% of the award dollars went to SEMA member company employees or their dependents.

“Although SEMA affiliation is not a requirement of the scholarships, added consideration is given to employees of, and relatives of employees at, SEMA member companies,” said Myroniak. “It’s great to see SEMA members taking advantage of this benefit.”

The SMSF has awarded more than $1.25 million to over 800 students since 1984. Applications for the 2010 program will be available at in December.