In 2011, a total of $112,000 in scholarship awards was granted to 68 recipients through the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Through the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund (SMSF), the association helps prepare the next generation of the automotive workforce for today's competitive market through financial assistance for students attending various universities, colleges, and/or vocational schools in the United States. In fact, the fund has yielded more than $1.5 million in scholarships since 1984.
Applications are currently being accepted for the 2012 SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund. The application, available online at www.sema.org/scholarships, requires college transcripts and letters of recommendation.
SEMA's Education Institute (SEI) recently interviewed 2010 SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund recipient Kyle Morgan. Morgan is the co-owner of Never Lift Fabrications, a small race shop in Springfield, Tennessee, that specializes in chassis and suspension work.
Morgan shared some thoughts about what he loves about motorsports and fabrication and offers advice for students applying for scholarships and for those just starting out in the automotive industry.
SEMA Education Institute: Why did you choose to pursue a career in custom fabrication? Was it because of your enthusiasm for racing? A family hobby that inspired you?
Kyle Morgan: Racing has always been a passion of mine that probably was instilled into me by my late grandpa, who had a restoration shop in his back yard when I was growing up. He used to tell me stories about how when I was there with him, I would pick up screwdrivers and wrenches and beat on things to copy what he was doing. I don't follow the traditional path that I believe most do with racing in the South, where NASCAR and drag racing are popular. I would watch WRC, Le-Mans and any other road racing events I could get my hands on. I started my amateur racing career with the TRSCCA auto-crossing.
SEI: Do you plan to continue your higher education?
SEMA's Education Institute (SEI) recently interviewed 2010 SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund recipient Kyle Morgan. Morgan is the the co-owner of Never Lift Fabrications, a small race shop (pictured) out of Springfield, Tennessee.
Kyle Morgan: Formally, at an institution, no, but in this field of ever-changing technology, we never can be content with the information that we have already learned; we are forever learning. When I'm not at work, I am constantly browsing Internet forums, industry publications, journals, books, DVDs and any source of knowledge that I can learn from to help further my abilities to succeed in this great industry.
SEI: What advice would you give to a student applying for scholarships now?
Kyle Morgan: Treat it as you would an interview for a coveted job. Being a recipient is an honor and a privilege that is granted to few and can open doors in your field.
SEI: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting to pursue an education/career in the automotive industry?
Kyle Morgan: Do not just pursue a career in the industry simply because you feel it's an easy way out of a harder job. When I was in school, there were students everywhere who were only there because their parents gave them an ultimatum of going to college or getting a job. Sadly, most of them chose to go to school for something they thought would be easy and quick. I'm here to tell you that this is one of the few industries that requires you to be dedicated to your passion and if your heart is not in it, you are going to struggle the whole way. This industry is not a so-called nine-to-five job. I can remember when I was first getting the shop up and running—working seven days a week most of the time, 16 hours a day. It takes dedication and willingness to learn.