CALIFORNIA GIRL WINS CRAFTSMAN SCHOLARSHIP
Will Study Automotive Technology
CALISTOGA, Calif. -- Desiree Hawks isn't your stereotypical California girl. She drives a pickup truck, is interested in a career in automotive technology, and beat a field of 650 mostly male entrants to earn a $25,000 scholarship from Craftsman tools.
Starting in the fall, Hawks, 18, will attend Universal Technical Institute in Phoenix, a technical school that offers programs in gasoline and diesel mechanics, auto repair, auto body repair and other specialized courses leading to a career as an automotive technician.
The Sears Craftsman Scholarship program, administered by National Hot Rod Association's Youth and Education Services department, awards 21 scholarships -- three in each of NHRA's seven geographic divisions -- to graduating high school seniors planning a career in automotive technology, industrial technology, manufacturing or marketing. Applicants are judged on character, academic accomplishments, leadership, extracurricular school activities and community activity. Twenty students receive scholarships of $1,000, while one is selected for the prestigious Craftsman Scholarship that funds up to $25,000 toward continued education; Hawks is the 2005 winner.
"Since I was a little kid, I have always wanted to use my hands to do something constructive," Hawks said. "I have always been good with my hands; I learned to love using my hands through experiences with my grandfather and father."
Hawks' grandfather is a master machinist and airplane mechanic. Her father constructs wine caves for aging casks of wine in the Napa Valley area.
Hawks, known as Desi to her friends, is a recent graduate of Calistoga High School where she earned a 3.57 grade point average and numerous awards for academic and extracurricular accomplishments. She also has been active in community service.
Hawks' successes haven't come easily. She overcame a learning disability, attending Special Education classes since elementary school.
"My brother is good with his brain, and I am good with my hands," she says. "Not everyone has the same abilities. We are all good at different things, which makes us the individual people we are. Fortunately, I have learned that even with my disability I can perform well academically through extra effort."
For Hawks, community service will continue at Universal Technical Institute and beyond.
"My goal is to show kids with and without learning disabilities that education is available in many fields. No matter what someone is interested in, there is always the possibility of furthering their education."
Hawks and her mother will attend the Ninth Annual Sears Craftsman NHRA Nationals drag race at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis June 24-26. She will be introduced and awarded the scholarship during pre-race ceremonies.
Craftsman is the Official Tools of the NHRA and sponsors the annual Sears Craftsman Nationals at Gateway International Raceway. According to a 2004 EquiTrend survey, Craftsman is rated the No. 1 brand in the nation for overall quality. Over 1,600 Craftsman hand tools are made in the USA and guaranteed forever.If any Craftsman hand tool ever fails to give complete satisfaction, return it for free repair or replacement. Sears offers Craftsman tools, merchandise and related services nationwide through its Full-line stores, Sears Hardware stores, Sears Dealer stores and Orchard Supply Hardware stores, as well as through specialty catalogs and online at www.sears.com and www.craftsman.com.