Students, faculty, and instructors at Tidewater Community College’s Regional Automotive Center (RAC) gathered with members of the Kenneth A. & Patricia A. Hall Charitable Foundation to celebrate a life-changing new partnership.
The Hall Foundation established a scholarship for the advancement of students looking to improve skills through continuing education and hands-on training in automotive maintenance at the RAC, awarding $50,000 to the TCC Educational Foundation as an initial contribution in the spring and an additional $50,000 this fall.
The Kenneth A. Hall Automotive Scholarship will award scholarships of up to $2,000 to recipients each year. The scholarship money may be used for tuition, books, fees, tools, and all other needed materials and supplies for a student to be successful. To date, 13 students have received the scholarship from Hall.
“This is another great day for Tidewater Community College. This is a significant opportunity for our automotive program students to benefit by providing much-needed scholarships, and we are so appreciative to the Hall family and the Hall Foundation for their generous support,” said Dr. Marcia Conston, TCC President.
“It goes to benefit the state, the local area, and that’s what we’re all about,” said Ken Hall, Jr. of the Hall Charitable Foundation. “We’re always trying to find programs that support everybody and return something to the community. Not just buildings, but something that enriches the community, state, and local areas.”
“We like to support education, particularly the automotive field, because that’s where the Hall Foundation’s funding came from. More importantly, we know these opportunities can be life-changing for these individuals to be able to have a job that pays well, so they can raise their family and educate their kids,“ said Gray Kiger.
The scholarship is available for students who have demonstrated a strong work ethic, a drive to succeed, and a commitment to education and training. Among this year’s recipients is Evan Healey, who now works at Hall Honda as an Express Technician. He’s especially grateful for the industry connections at TCC that guided him on the fast track to getting his current job.
He says TCC’s program and experienced instructors helped unlock his passion for automotive.
“Mr. Kulp has been in the field for a long time, and been in the teaching world and knows what he’s talking about. He’s like the Yoda of Honda,” said Healey. “This career path is exciting because the more I learn here, the more skills I get to add to my toolbelt. I’m always learning and advancing. Eventually, I want to be a Line Tech at Hall in the main shop and be able to work on bigger projects with the team as my skills advance. Receiving this scholarship feels personal, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue learning in school while working.”
Another recipient, Willie “Tre” Scott, comes from a military family and has lived all over the world. Being raised in Japan, Scott remembers returning to the United States at 13 years old and seeing a Dodge Challenger on the road for the first time. He became fascinated with all modes of transportation and mechanics. After completing his automotive program training, Scott wants to obtain his bachelor’s degree from Old Dominion University and become a pilot for the US Air Force. He says the program is excellent preparation for his future.
“These skills are all things I’ll continue to use and be grateful for now and later in life. If people like working on cars, boats, anything with an engine, they should come here for all the opportunities it has to offer,” said Scott, who found out last week he was receiving the Hall Foundation scholarship and is thankful to have most of his studies covered thanks to scholarships and financial aid.
“I’ve been focusing better since I don’t have to worry about paying out of pocket; it’s a big benefit.” For more information about the Regional Automotive Center’s programs, visit our Chesapeake Campus website.