Scholarship winner announced

Craftsman Names NHRA Scholarship Winner Sandwich, Mass., Valedictorian Claims Honor ST. LOUIS - Andrew Elskamp of Sandwich, Mass., has been named recipient of the 2004 Sears Craftsman NHRA Scholarship. He will attend the ...

Craftsman Names NHRA Scholarship Winner
Sandwich, Mass., Valedictorian Claims Honor

ST. LOUIS - Andrew Elskamp of Sandwich, Mass., has been named recipient of the 2004 Sears Craftsman NHRA Scholarship. He will attend the Sears Craftsman NHRA Nationals drag race at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis June 25-27 to be recognized and presented with the award.

The Sears Craftsman Scholarship program, administered by NHRA'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; Elskamp is the 2004 winner.

Elskamp graduated in June from Upper Cap Cod Regional Vocational Technical High School in Sandwich, where he was valedictorian. He will attend the University of Northwestern Ohio in Lima to pursue a degree in high performance auto technology with a minor in business management. He hopes to earn a master's degree in engineering and seek a career in automotive design.

"I knew I wanted to attend the vocational high school," said Elskamp, " but I didn't settle on automotive technology until I got there. I spent a couple of weeks in that shop and found I really liked it."

Career path decided, Elskamp lost no time in moving forward. In addition to his high school studies, he took classes in Computer-Aided Design and mathematics for two years at Cape Cod Community College.

Following a recruiter's visit to his high school and a campus tour, Elskamp selected UNO to further his education.

"It's a great school and they have all the training I want right there on campus," Elskamp explained.

Oddly, Elskamp is following a beaten path. Caleb O'Connor, the 2001 Craftsman Scholarship winner, was also from Sandwich, graduated from Upper Cap Cod Regional and attended UNO. O'Connor is currently a senior at the college.

Elskamp will be honored at the Sears Craftsman NHRA Nationals, which he will attend with his mother, Deborah Stacy. It will be the first race for the youth, who says he would rather work on a race car than watch it.

However, Elskamp will take an indirect route from Sandwich to St. Louis. Earlier in the week he will travel to Kansas City to participate in the SkillsUSA National Championship competition in Automotive Service Technology. Contestants will demonstrate their ability to perform jobs and skills based on the task list outlined by the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). Elskamp won his statewide competition and will represent Massachusetts in the national competition.

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. Sears sells more than 1,600 Craftsman hand tools that are 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.

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