By Carr Winn and Clint Simone
This pilot project involves a collaboration between SEMA and the Santa Fe Early College Opportunities Applied Science Magnet School (Santa Fe ECO). Santa Fe ECO is a magnet high school that provides applied sciences and tech training along with traditional academic classes. The Jeep build project is with ECO’s Auto Tech School, which features extensive automotive training. The build began in late 2017 with the delivery of a ’15 four-wheel-drive Jeep Wrangler Unlimited to students at Santa Fe ECO Auto Shop Program in Santa Fe, New Mexico. SEMA members have contributed time and accessories to the build since work began last fall. In fact, as Sara Morosan from LGE-CTS explains, she enjoyed reconnecting with the passion and drive that helps start automotive careers.
“We work in such a great industry. I had a blast being able to help inspire young adults that are eager to learn more about the automotive industry,” said Sara Morosan, LGE-CTS Motorsports. “There is nothing like getting on the road, visiting schools and talking to students about what their passions are within the automotive industry. To be honest, it makes me feel like a kid again. I love what I do but sometimes I can treat it like a job and forget how incredibly lucky I am to do what I love every day.”
The following companies provided parts for the Santa Fe ECO Jeep Build.
|For the students at Santa Fe ECO, the opportunity to work on a newer model vehicle and install restyling and performance accessories has been extremely beneficial.|
Kelli Mallicote from Bodyguard also volunteered both time and accessories to help the students in Santa Fe. For Mallicote, the time she spent at the school gave her confidence about the future of the industry.
“It was such an honor for me to be part of this project! Being able to step away from my daily routine and share my experience and career path with these students is very rewarding. I’m blessed to be working in an industry I love, and it’s always motivating to be able to give to the generation behind me. These guys and gals will be the next designers, installers, business owners and leaders of our industry and I’m most appreciative to have been able to spend time with them on this trip,” said Kelli Mallicote, vice president, sales and marketing, for Bodyguard.
For information about the Santa Fe ECO Jeep build, visit www.sema.org/jeep-build.