In 1984, SEMA and a group of industry leaders teamed to establish the nonprofit SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund, whose purpose was to nurture industry leadership by supporting the educational pursuits of future automotive professionals attending an accredited college. The fund initially struggled to gain momentum, but thanks to its first major donation of $10,000, contributed by industry pioneer and SEMA Hall of Fame inductee Joan Weiand of Weiand Automotive, the fund quickly picked up steam.
SEMA Scholarship Committee
Laurel Dasher of MaganFlow has been elected chair of the SEMA Scholarship Committee, and Rick Barsamian has been elected chair of the SEMA Cares Committee.
SEMA’s marketing and education departments have teamed to support the association’s Career Path initiative to engage the next generation and address the industry’s employment challenges.
Scholarship applications for the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund are now being accepted.
The SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund is dedicated to fostering the next generation of automotive aftermarket industry leaders and innovators. Scholarship awards range from $2,000 to $3,000, with $5,000 going to the top student. Applications for the 2016–2017 academic year will launch November 1, 2015. A full year of tuition, valued up to $29,400, will be awarded to one student attending Ohio Technical College (OTC). Assistance is available for career paths in 12 automotive industry disciplines, including accounting, engineering, race car driving/crew administration, information technology, sales/marketing, advertising, manufacturing, design/graphics/photography and transportation.
The SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund has awarded $150,000 to 58 individuals this year. This includes 45 SEMA scholarships presented to current students, and 13 loan-forgiveness awards presented to employees of SEMA-member companies. On behalf of the industry, we offer congratulations and continued success to the following award winners.
Efforts to build excitement in the next generation reach a pinnacle during SEMA Show week in a dedicated program for students. The SEMA Show Student Program gives young people a glimpse of the industry as part of the association’s effort to engage the next generation. After completing the qualification process, students attend the Show with their teachers and participate in a series of organized events designed to expand their knowledge of the automotive specialty-equipment industry. This is often an eye-opening experience for students, who may not know how broad the industry is nor have experienced the excitement of the automotive aftermarket.
The question of how to involve the next generation in the automotive specialty-equipment industry is a topic that comes up in nearly every SEMA membership meeting. Over the last year, the Board of Directors and staff have put quite a bit of thought and effort into developing youth-engagement initiatives.
With the participation of SEMA-member performance parts manufacturers
and legendary engine builder Ed Pink, the SEMA Scholarship Committee
will have a complete dyno-tested 302 Ford engine—based on a Dart block
and cylinder heads—up for auction on eBay concurrent with the upcoming
SEMA Show. Proceeds will benefit the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund
(SMSF). Simultaneously, a customized Dodge Charger and Avenger will also
be auctioned to benefit the SMSF.
During the 2008 SEMA Show, more than 150 students from the U.S. and Canada registered for the first-ever Student Program.