Justin Beers, a third-year Ferris State University Automotive Engineering Technology student, was among nearly 100 students nationwide to receive support from the Specialty Equipment Market Association Memorial Scholarship Fund. Beers came to Big Rapids as a transfer from the State University of New York-Delhi earlier this year.
“I had pursued as many scholarships as I could, with the SEMA Memorial Scholarship being one that was in line with my goals, which is to pursue a career in the automotive aftermarket industry,” Beers said. “As a scholarship recipient, I was invited to attend the 2021 SEMA Trade Show in Las Vegas next month, but I have classes during the show and would not want to miss them.”
Beers earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Automotive Mechanics and Automotive Technology from SUNY-Delhi, about 15 miles from his hometown of Walton, New York. Beers is adjusting to a new state and the Ferris educational experience during his first semester in Big Rapids, some 768 miles from home.
“A professor at Delhi told me of a former student who came to Ferris for the Automotive Engineering Technology program, who is now employed by Bavarian Motor Works,” Beers said. “I am looking forward to really getting into my curriculum and enjoying my home, off-campus. I have had a great experience so far, continuing my education at Ferris.”
Beers further asked about learning more about the industry while completing his Bachelor of Science in Automotive Engineering Technology.
“I hope to find at least one internship to complete this summer, and possibly another before I graduate,” he said. “I think it is important to build on my experiences, to go along with my classroom and laboratory learning.”
Recipients earned scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, and 10 students will be guests at the 2021 SEMA Show, receiving airfare and the opportunity to network with industry professionals and build on their experiences. Finally, 22 members of SEMA member companies received loan forgiveness grants to assist them with education debt. The SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund has made more than $3 million of awards to students to foster automotive aftermarket industry leaders and innovators since 1984.