Two CLC automotive collision repair students each receive $5,000 scholarships

Two College of Lake County automotive collision repair students each have been selected as winners of a $5,000 Pittsburgh Plate Glass Foundation scholarship from the Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Collision Repair Education Foundation. The students are Julie Brain of Wonder Lake and David Morales of Elgin.

The scholarship is awarded to a student who has studied the field for at least one full semester before applying for the scholarship, according to Melissa Marscin, director of grant programs at the Collision Repair Education Foundation. To apply, each student completed an essay and submitted a letter of recommendation from Octavio Cavazos, instructor and chair of CLC's automotive technology program. This is the first time CLC students have applied for and/or received this scholarship, according to Cavazos.

"Julie Brain is very intelligent, has great mechanical aptitude, and she's very artistic, hard working, tough-skinned-yet very, very kind," wrote Cavazos. "She is a model student-very talented and very dedicated to being successful in her studies-in a male-dominated field."

Brain, who said she was "excited and surprised" to learn she received the scholarship, said she likes the art and technology of painting cars and eventually would like to work in an auto body shop. "I tell women not to be intimidated by the men, because as long as you put your mind to it, a woman can work in this field as well as a man can," said Brain, who plans to earn an A.A.S. degree in 2017.

Morales "has a passion to learn and succeed I have not ever seen before," wrote Cavazos. "Along with his fiancée and best friend, David was struck by a vehicle last December. He suffered many injuries and was unable to attend classes in the last two weeks of the Fall Semester. But he did not let this unfortunate event stop him. From his hospital bed, he reached out to all his instructors and made arrangements to complete all homework and final exams online. When the Spring (2016) Semester began, David was sitting in the front row, with his crutches, bandages, books, tools and his passion to learn.

"David has taken upon himself to further educate himself beyond the course learning objectives. One way he has done this is by reaching out to local body shops and arranging several site visits."

Morales, who said he was "very excited and happy" to receive the scholarship, said he also appreciates the program's hands-on learning, networking opportunities and career choices. He plans to earn his A.A.S. degree, start as a collision repair technician and then explore options, ranging from to sales and management to training.

For more information on CLC's automotive collision repair program, contact Cavazos at (847) 543-2905 or or visit Fall Semester begins Aug. 22. For details on how to become a CLC student, visit or call (847) 543-2090. View the class schedule and search for courses at

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