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hilmor announced the recipients of the 2019 Retool Your Future scholarship contest.
Established to support the next generation of HVAC/R technicians, the Retool Your Future competition awards five winners a $5,000 scholarship. Each winner also receives a starter kit of hilmor tools, a trip to this year’s AHR EXPO and a Green Wall Merchandising Display for their school.
Now in its sixth year, the program is available to current HVAC/R students in the U.S. and Canada who are enrolled or accepted into an established, recognized HVAC/R training school. Since its inception, more than 2,500 students from over 300 trade schools have applied for the program with essays of up to 250 words describing how the HVAC/R industry will “retool their life.” Winners are selected by a panel of judges based on how their essay describes how HVAC/R school is helping them start a new life, how they are preparing for a career in the industry and how they are committed to education.
“This year’s winners are shining examples of how our industry and education can drive positive change and new career possibilities,” said DiversiTech Brand Director Andrea Halpin. “We are honored to showcase each winner’s unique story and support their professional growth as they enter the HVAC/R field.”
The 2019 Retool Your Future winners are:
Draik Huddleston, Joliet Junior College (Illinois), is the first of his siblings to pursue a college education – “This last year has opened my eyes to a self-rewarding lifelong career. I’m a hands-on learner, which is why HVAC clicks with me. I want to continue college, up to my master’s degree, so I can one day teach HVAC and give others a reason to keep going and help others.”
Nichole Lemoine, Nova Scotia Community College (Canada), spent more than 17 years in the food industry before making the switch to HVAC/R – “Throughout a career in the food industry, I enjoyed learning how to maintain restaurant equipment. I chose the Building System Technician (HVAC&R) career because I enjoy fixing various types of equipment when they break down. I get a sense of accomplishment when I can get a piece of equipment to work properly.”
Rafael Guevara, Guilford Technical Community College (North Carolina), is a first-generation college student – “I came into class knowing very little of the trade, but I didn’t let that stop me. Now in my second semester, I feel more familiar with furnaces, electric heat strip technology, coils and package units. Being able to make load calculations and seeing the operation of the technology leaves me wanting more. My goal is to establish my own business and take care of as many customers that I possibly can while keeping a clean reputation.”
Taylor Wansing, State Technical College of Missouri (Missouri), is a Marine Corps veteran – “The HVAC field has saved my life. After leaving the only world I’ve ever known in the military, I had lost my purpose in life. But the variety of different avenues in this trade put the decision of what I want to do and where I want to work back into my hands. I want nothing more out of this career than to help my neighbors in need.”
Jose Velazquez, Vista College (Texas), is a former Army combat engineer – “As a retired veteran, I am starting a new chapter in my life not only to set the example for my family that it’s never too late to learn but to accomplish everyone’s dream of success. I am currently a handyman but am looking forward to starting a new career properly trained and equipped for success. I would love to go work for a large company after graduation, however, I am really looking forward to working with my brother to help him expand on his company and truly make it a family business.”
Entries for next year’s Retool Your Future contest will be accepted on September 1, 2019. More information about the award is available at www.retoolyourfuture.com