Student a Driving Force in Automotive Field

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May 28, 2019—Angelle Vanderwarf, senior and cheerleader at Beecher High School in Beecher, Ill., is a leader in the automotive technology program at the Kankakee Area Career Center. Her leadership has led to several career offers, and she was named a finalist in a national contest, reports Commercial-News.

"I am very passionate about my future goals of going into the auto tech field," she told Commercial-News. "I take up as many challenges that I can in order to learn new skills. When I help others learn and accomplish new tasks, I see their confidence grow, and it is a great feeling knowing they're improving.

"When automotive technicians help other technicians, it helps the public drive safer cars."

Students in the automotive technology program at KACC learn to diagnose problems and properly repair vehicles, reports Commercial-News. They learn simple skills from oil changes and tire repairs to the more complicated areas of electronic diagnosis and driveability.

Students take what they learn in the classroom into the center's full-service automotive shop, experiencing the day-to-day responsibilities of a technician. Vanderwarf is a leader in the automotive technology program at KACC.

"I came in on the first day of class and was asked, 'What do I want to learn?'" she said. "I didn't know anything specific; I just said, 'Anything, I'm here to learn.'"

Vanderwarf has been the program shop manager since she was a junior, a position KACC auto technology instructor James Stafford created because of her. As shop manager, Vanderwarf delegates shop activities, orders parts, tracks work orders and serves as the shop foreman.

She has promoted the KACC program by leading the eighth-grade Career Options Day and has been a part of Sophomore Recruitment Day both years she has been a student at the school. Vanderwarf has near perfect attendance and an A average in her coursework, earned first place in the SkillsUSA regional conference job interview competition, has been named student of the quarter, is on the KACC student advisory council and has earned NTHS awards for her studies.

"The KACC set me up for success," Vanderwarf said. "The teachers care about your individual success. You can never learn all of it in two or five years. You are always learning and technology is always advancing."

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