Global Symposium Awards Scholarships to 115 Students in 2008 - Engine Builder Magazine
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Global Symposium Awards Scholarships to 115 Students in 2008


The Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS) Scholarship Committee recently announced the awarding of scholarships to 115 students pursuing aftermarket careers in 2008.

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The $1,000 and $2,000 scholarships will be granted to 105 students in the U.S. and ten in Canada. In the history of the scholarship program, more than 1,400 students have received aid totaling approximately $1.4 million.

"GAAS continues to ensure a strong future talent pool for automotive aftermarket companies and service outlets through the work of the Scholarship Committee and the support of the Symposium," said Pete Kornafel, chairman, GAAS Scholarship Committee.

"This year the quality of applicants and their dedication to automotive careers has been exceptional. We are pleased to have the opportunity to help these well-qualified, deserving students reach their goal of pursuing a career in the automotive aftermarket," he added.


The GAAS scholarships are funded through proceeds from the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium. This year’s 115 scholarships include those funded through the donations and grants from: 

  • Art Fisher Memorial Scholarship Fund
  • Automotive Communications Council Scholarships (ACC)
  • ASC Industries Inc.
  • ASE / Michael Bush Memorial Scholarships
  • Breslow Foundation Scholarships
  • Leadership Development Network of AAIA (LDN)
  • R.L. Polk & Co.
  • Udell Family Charitable Foundation
  • University of the Aftermarket Foundation
  • Zurich

"This year we are pleased to say we have grown closer to our goal of becoming a ‘one stop shop’ for students seeking automotive scholarships through increased collaboration with other automotive and aftermarket groups," Kornafel said. "By working together, we are benefiting the students who can submit one application and be considered for multiple scholarships," he added.


  • Collaborative efforts with state associations and other automotive groups include:
  • Automotive Aftermarket Association of the Carolinas and Tennessee (AAACT)
  • Automotive Aftermarket Association Southeast (AAAS)
  • Association of Diesel Specialists (ADS)
  • Automotive Parts & Services Association (APSA)
  • Automotive Parts and Service Association of Illinois (APSA of IL)
  • Arizona/California/Nevada Automotive Wholesaler’s Association (CAWA)
  • Ohio Valley Automotive Aftermarket Association (OVAAA)

Each of these other collaborating groups has their own criteria and selects their own recipients for their scholarships. "Only two of the other groups have made their selections, and we’ve already identified five students who have received more than one scholarship from their one application," Kornafel said.


To be eligible for a GAAS scholarship, applicants must be enrolled full-time in a college-level program or an ASE/NATEF (National Automotive Technician Education Foundation) certified automotive technical program. Graduate programs and part-time undergraduate programs do not qualify. 

The GAAS scholarship also is unique in that recipients who graduate from their program and show proof of employment as technicians in the automotive aftermarket for at least six months after graduation can receive a second matching grant.

GAAS Scholarship applications for 2009 will be available online at beginning in September 2008. The deadline for submitting 2009 scholarship applications is March 31, 2009.

The annual investment to help develop future aftermarket industry leaders is primarily funded through proceeds from the annual Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium. This two-day program brings together numerous industry executives and examines the issues and trends affecting the automotive aftermarket industry and influencing its future. GAAS has become the aftermarket’s premier educational conference. The 2009 event is set for Wednesday and Thursday, May 6-7, at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Chicago.


Additional scholarship funding comes from industry contributions from individuals, companies and foundations. Contributions can be made to the GAAS Scholarship Fund, c/o Susan Medick at AAIA, at 301-654-6664, or [email protected].

Engine Builder Magazine