"Scholarships this year are going to students who will be studying everything from nursing to business to chemical engineering," said Don Orr, chairman of the TCA's Scholarship Fund and president of Central Refrigerated Service in Phoenix. "However, each has a strong connection to trucking and hopes to someday give back to the industry that has supported them and their families so well."
To qualify for the TCA Scholarship program, individuals must be a junior or senior attending an accredited four-year college or university. In addition, the individual must be one of the following: the child, grandchild or spouse of an employee; an employee of a trucking company; the child, grandchild or spouse of an independent contractor; or, an independent contractor affiliated with a trucking company.
Scholarship recipients must also demonstrate financial need and have earned a minimum of 3.3 cumulative GPA in their freshman and sophomore years. In addition, they must have maintained full-time student status, and proven that they are individuals of high character and integrity. Special consideration is given to those students pursuing transportation and business degrees.
The Mac McCormick Memorial Scholarship was given in the amount of $5,000 to Barry Wertz of Elizabethtown, Penn. After partially completing college, Wertz spent 12 years in retail management before deciding to return to his childhood love, trucking. He earned his CDL and spent 10 years as a truck driver. He currently works as a dispatcher for Kinard Trucking. He wants to finish the degree he started 25 years ago so he can become a leader in the trucking industry.
The Thomas Welby Scholarship in the amount of $3,000 was given to Theodore Terry of Spartanburg, S.C. Terry has held a variety of positions with U.S. Xpress, beginning as a truck driver and then driver trainer. Moving into an office environment, he served as a load planner and then account manager, managing 60 drivers and eight staff members. The TCA scholarship will help Terry learn more about the business side of transportation.
The Kai Norris Scholarship in the amount of $3,000 was given to William Besser, Sauk Rapids, Minn. Besser has been exposed to trucks and machinery all his life, from his mother working at Anderson Trucking Service since before he was born, to his father, who taught him how to restore cars and engines. He has worked on a farm and in a hardware store, and is currently involved in a college project designing a vehicle and its parts. He would like to pursue a career designing vehicles that will increase fuel efficiency or run on alternative power sources.
The Truck Writers of North America Scholarship in the amount of $2,500 went to Sandra Boydston, Las Vegas. Boydston served in the U.S. Marines as a transport operator and was certified for both single trailers and doubles. When she returned home, her success as a driver inspired her mother to leave a computer job she hated and pursue truck driving herself. Now Boydston is the one with the office job and her mother is the truck driver, with Landstar.
Twenty-one additional $2,000 TCA scholarships went to Whitney Meek, Columbia, S.C., G&P Trucking Company; Virginia Pliska, Oskkosh, Wis., Wal-Mart; Elizabeth Brosious, Whitehall, Penn., Mack Trucks; Melissa Martin, Goldthwaite, Texas, WVT of Texas; Rob Pick, Ankeny, Iowa, Johnsrud Transport; Steven Rubinas, Traverse City, Mich., Schmuckal Oil Co.; Cory D' Amato, Hasbrouck, N.J., J.B. Hunt Transport; Dustin Tardiff, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, CRST International; Lindsay Cole, Walla Walla, Wash., Heitco Transportation; Joshua Boudreaux, Santa Fe Springs, Calif., J.B. Hunt Transport; Zachary Barrus, Aberdeen, Idaho, Schows; Nora Keifer, Belvidere, N.J., Odyssey Overland; Robert Dillenger, Farmington, Ark., J.B. Hunt Transport; Nicholas Ferenchak, Catasauqua, Penn., Mack Trucks; Chad Martin, Morgantown, Penn., Brubacher Excavating; Rebecca Udermann, Rosemount, Minn., Master's Logistics; Amanda Purchase, Tacoma, Wash., Don Hummer Trucking; David Hunt, Ithaca, Neb., Wise Mack; Matthew Ritter, Pennsburg, Penn., Indian Valley Bulk Carriers; Michael Blackstock, Albany, Ga., Schilli Transportation; and Jimmy-Maurice Morris, Cartersville, Ga., Kennesaw Transportation.
Applications for the 2009-10 scholarships will be due in May 2009.
More info: www.truckload.org/scholarships