Craftsman and NHRA present $25,000 scholarship

Massachusetts Youth Earns Sears Craftsman Award MADISON, Ill.- Craftsman tools and the National Hot Rod Association will present the first $25,000 Sears Craftsman Scholarship Sunday, June 24, at Gateway International Raceway in Madison. The ...

Massachusetts Youth Earns Sears Craftsman Award

MADISON, Ill.- Craftsman tools and the National Hot Rod Association will present the first $25,000 Sears Craftsman Scholarship Sunday, June 24, at Gateway International Raceway in Madison.

The winner is Caleb O'Connor, 19, of Sandwich, Mass. O'Connor will be on hand to accept the scholarship award during the running of the fifth annual Sears Craftsman Nationals.

The Sears Craftsman Scholarship is funded to provide an incentive for graduating high school seniors to continue their education at the post-secondary level. Winners are selected based on academic achievement, citizenship, extracurricular activities, community service and work experience. Scholarship preference is given to applicants planning a career in automotive technology, industrial/technical manufacturing or marketing.

O'Connor recently graduated from Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School where he distinguished himself as a member of the National Honor Society and Student Council. During his high school career, O'Connor was an award-winning student athlete and participated in numerous civic and community activities.

In August, O'Connor, whose hobbies include hot rodding his 1963 Ford Falcon and volunteering on the garage crew of a Featherlite Modified race team, will enroll in Northwestern University in Lima, Ohio, to study High PerformanceTechnology/Motor Sports. He wants to pursue a career working in the high performance aftermarket or racing.

"This Sears Craftsman Scholarship means everything to me," said O'Connor, whose father is a lobster fisherman on Cape Cod. "We've been worrying about how to pay for my education. My parents didn't want me to have to pay student loans while I got my career started, so they have been trying to save and I've been working summer jobs. Now I can have the education I dreamed about, and my folks can do more to help my little brother and sister. It's a relief for the whole family."

O'Connor and his father, Michael, will attend the Sears Craftsman Nationals near St.Louis as guests of Sears. While O'Connor is a frequent visitor to the drag strip near his home, this will mark his first NHRA national event.

Each year the Sears Craftsman Scholarship program, funded by Sears and administered by the NHRA Youth & Education Services, awards grants of $1,000 to 21 deserving students, three in each of the NHRA's seven geographic divisions. More than 650 qualified applications were submitted for the 2001 scholarships. Since the Sears Craftsman Scholarship was introduced in 1993, nearly 200 youths have been assisted in furthering their education.

This year, for the first time, Sears funded an additional $25,000 scholarship to acknowledge one student among all the standout candidates.

Information about the 2002 Sears Craftsman Scholarship, including application forms and instructions, can be obtained at the Youth & Education Services section of the NHRA's web site, www.nhra.com.

Craftsman serves as the Official Tools of NHRA, CART and NASCAR, and has sponsored the Sears Craftsman Nationals at Gateway International Raceway since 1997. Sears sells more than 1,800 Craftsman hand tools, all made in America and guaranteed forever. Sears offers Craftsman tools, merchandise and related services through Sears full-line department stores and specialized retail locations, including Sears Hardware, Sears dealer stores and Orchard Supply Hardware stores, as well as through specialty catalogs and online at www.sears.com.

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., the NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. It presents 24 national events through its NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. The NHRA has more than 80,000 members worldwide, and more than 140 member tracks. The NHRA-sanctioned sportsman and bracket racing series provide competition opportunities for drivers of all levels. The NHRA develops the stars of tomorrow by offering the NHRA Federal-Mogul Drag Racing Series, NHRA Summit Racing Series, NHRA Summit Import Drag Racing Series and the NHRA Street Legal Program. The NHRA also offers the NHRA Castrol GTX Jr. Drag Racing League for youths ages 8 to 17.

-NHRA-

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Series Automotive , NHRA