Student Program Takes Center Stage at 2013 SEMA Show

SEMA Member News—January/February 2014

Student Program Takes Center Stage at 2013 SEMA Show

How do you get young people excited about the automotive specialty-equipment industry? The answer is easy: by allowing them to experience the SEMA Show!


A student welcome lunch was part of a program that brought more than 400 students to the 2013 SEMA Show from approximately 45 colleges and institutions across North America.
A student welcome lunch was part of a program that brought more than 400 students to the 2013 SEMA Show from approximately 45 colleges and institutions across North America. 

The 2013 SEMA Show student program brought record participation, with more than 400 students attending from approximately 45 colleges and institutions across North America. The program’s goals are simple: first, to expose the next generation to the opportunities available in the automotive aftermarket; second, to build bridges between educational partners and SEMA; and finally, to allow the students a once-in-a-lifetime experience to connect with industry leaders and influencers.

In order to provide both students and faculty with the most valuable experience while at the Show, the SEMA Education Institute tailored a specific schedule of programs that included:

  • A student welcome lunch that provided required orientation covering SEMA resources and the SEMA Show.
  • Behind-the-scenes SEMA Show floor tours.
  • A Gear-up Girl networking event sponsored by the SEMA Businesswoman’s Network, which connected female students with industry-leading female professionals.
  • A SEMA education partner luncheon that provided SEMA and school representatives with a chance to openly discuss educational opportunities, challenges and partnerships.
  • A SEMA Scholarship winners’ pit-stop, which provided a forum to connect SEMA scholarship recipients with industry professionals while recognizing the students for their accomplishments.
  • An exhibitor host program that matched qualified students with participating manufacturers and SEMA councils, allowing the students to spend time in and help work a booth.
Message From Scholarship Chair Joel Ayres of Bedslide/Takit Inc.

The SEMA Scholarship Committee enters 2014 with a continued passion and emphasis on preparing the next generation of the automotive workforce for today’s competitive marketplace. A critical function performed by the committee is the scholarship award process and fundraising efforts designed to sustain and grow the program for future generations of automotive professionals.

Over the past six years, SEMA has awarded in excess of $750,000 dollars in loan forgiveness and scholarships to more than 400 recipients. This would not have been possible if it were not for the continued efforts of the Scholarship Committee and the generous industry support of SEMA-member companies that contribute time, money and resources to a slew of fundraising efforts.

In addition to notable vehicle projects that yielded the likes of the SBN Mustang Build and several WD-40/Chip Foose collaborations, the committee will continue such efforts as the charity engine program while exploring unique and innovative ways of generating money in 2014 for this worthy cause. Keep an eye out for how you and your business can get involved.

Scholarship Horsepower: Dyno-Tested Over 700 hp!

Renowned engine builder and many-time NHRA Pro Stock championship-winning crew chief Richard Maskin is overseeing the build of a special engine that is based on a dyno-proven combination to exceed 700 hp. The engine, based on Dart’s new LS Next Block, will be finished to the needs of the purchaser (street or strip configuration). It was displayed at the 2013 PRI Show in Indianapolis and became available for sale on eBay starting December 12. All proceeds will benefit the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund.

For additional details, go online to

SEMA Now Accepting Scholarship Applications

Applications for automotive scholarships are now available through the 2014 SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund (SMSF) at Students preparing for careers in the automotive or auto parts industries may be eligible for financial awards of up to $5,000.

The $5,000 Top Student award marks an increase from the award’s previous amount of $4,000. Scholarships for students attending four-year programs are up from $2,000 to $3,000, and awards for students attending two-year programs increased from $1,000 to $2,000.

“Students coming through the SEMA Scholarship Program have demonstrated such great potential,” said Zane Clark, SEMA education director. “We’ve increased the scholarship prizes to reward and better help prepare these students for careers in the specialty-equipment industry. Our hope is that we’ll continue to attract highly qualified students who will contribute and make strong, positive impacts in our industry.”