Riverton High School students win nationwide auto competition
by Aimee Cook O’Brien
Jun 08, 2009 | 3615 views | 0 0 comments | 71 71 recommendations | email to a friend | print
(From left) Brady Craig and Kendall Schouten with trophies from AAA/Ford auto skills competition
(From left) Brady Craig and Kendall Schouten with trophies from AAA/Ford auto skills competition

Riverton High School senior Brady Craig didn’t have much interest in cars until a year ago, and what a difference that year has made in his future. Brady and his teammate Kendall Schouten, a junior at Riverton High School, won the nationwide AAA and Ford Motor Student Auto Skills competition May 6.

Next stop, nationals in June.

The auto skills competition is for students in the 11th and 12th grades who have an interest in pursuing a career in the automotive service industry. Brady and Kendall represented Riverton High School for the first time this year at this competition; the school didn’t qualify in previous years. The boys studied diligently during class and after school to prepare. There was a written exam that included questions from brake systems to engine performance, and the boys’ combined score was the highest in the competition.

The second part of the competition was a “hands on” exercise. The team was presented with a car that was “bugged” with different problems they had to diagnose and fix in 90 minutes. For winning first place, both boys received a trophy and a $4,000 college scholarship from Ford Motors.

“As an instructor, I couldn’t have asked for better students,” said Jay Hales, Riverton auto class instructor. “Everything I have asked from them in auto shop class and studying at home during their free time they have done including working at a part-time job. Right now both students are studying hard and patiently waiting for AAA Ford to notify the school which car will be used at nationals.”

Brady also took first place in the “Skills USA” Automotive Service Competition that was held in March at Salt Lake Community College. Brady first passed a written exam to qualify for the competition. The competition itself consisted of 10 work stations with different “bugged” car parts. Brady had to diagnose and repair the parts and was judged on time and accuracy. Winning this competition qualified him to attend the national version in Kansas City, Mo., also in June.

So far, Brady has been awarded several college scholarships for placing first in these competitions. After graduation he plans to do one year of military training in the International Guard and then go on an LDS mission. Upon returning, he plans to attend Weber State University, using one of his scholarships, and complete a two-year degree in business.

“Brady has worked really hard to get here,” said Teresa Craig, his mother. “He is such a good person and it is nice to see him get what he deserves.”

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