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April 17, 2024 4:44 am

WCC auto student receives TechForce scholarships

Automotive student Dillon Teachey tracks down an issue with a vehicle during a lab at Wayne Community College.

GOLDSBORO — The TechForce Foundation has assisted Wayne Community College student Dillon Shane Teachey with two scholarships.

The second-year student in the college’s General Motors Automotive Service Education Program was awarded a total of $4,500. Last year, he received an Accelerate! Tuition Scholarship worth $2,000 toward tuition. It is designated for students working toward a career as a professional technician in the transportation industry.

This year he was given a $2,500 Humble Mechanic Scholarship reserved for a student “who shows great passion for becoming a technician in the transportation industry.” It is funded by Charles the “Humble Mechanic,” a Master Certified Volkswagen technician and YouTube celebrity. His website provides content for both automotive professionals and weekend enthusiasts.

Teachey said the scholarships have helped him afford his education. In addition to the usual tuition and fees, the cost of the program-required laptop, tools, safety glasses, uniforms and certification exams, he has extraordinary travel-related expenses. Teachey commutes from his home in Wallace to Goldsboro for class and to Wilmington for his work experience.

The time on the road is not an issue for Teachey. “I looked at opportunities for what I really wanted to do and Wayne was closest with the program I wanted. I had heard great things about Wayne,” he said. “I love it. It is a great program. I know I will be prepared and I am looking forward to my career.”

He has been driving to Bob King Buick-GMC in Wilmington for a year and a half, longer than what is required for the Work-Based Learning component of his degree program, and he plans to continue working there after graduating in May. The dealership has already included his photo in its website directory of technicians.

TechForce’s scholarships exist for students like Teachey. “Scholarships and grants from TechForce Foundation help reduce one of the most significant barriers to technical education – cost. In addition to the need for help with tuition, we’ve found that an unforeseen expense (on average of $450) can totally derail a student’s academic journey and result in dropping out of school entirely,” said TechForce Foundation Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer Mike Pressendo.

“This is why we offer Life Happens emergency grants as well [as scholarships]. Students who receive TechForce support complete their education at a rate of 88.7 percent, compared to a national average of 66.2 percent and a community college average of 51.6 percent,” Pressendo continued.

Teachey is looking forward to the next chapter of his life. “I’ve been wanting to do it forever, pretty much,” he said.

He recalled dressing as a mechanic for a kindergarten career day. “I had wrenches and a mechanic’s rag hanging out of my pocket,” Teachey said.

He was influenced by his father who was a mechanic for 14 years and still spends some of his free time under the hood. “We still piddle around with projects,” Teachey said.

GM-ASEP is a partnership between GM, GM dealers, ACDelco PSC shops, and select colleges that prepares students for a career as a GM Certified Service Technician. Classes and labs that provide advanced automotive technical training and work-based learning in a dealership are combined with a foundation in math, electronics and analytical skills and lead to an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Automotive Systems Technology GM-ASEP.

— From Wayne Community College Public Information