Auto students compete for $25,000 scholarship

Clint McKague and Phillip Penrod from Meridian High School were the fastest in the state at repairing a 2015 Ford Fiesta at the annual Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills contest Friday, at the College of Western Idaho in Nampa. They completed the competition in less than 90 minutes and their work passed judges’ inspections.

The duo defeated nine other two-person teams to win $25,000 in scholarship money and an all-expense-paid trip to the National Finals at the Ford World Headquarters this June in Dearborn, Mich.

“We had to fix the drivers side window controls, the rear blinker cable and use the scanner to find other issues with the car,” said Austin Stuart, a senior at Kuna High School.

The contest is designed to replicate the real-world experiences auto technicians face working for an auto repair facility.

“I think this is a great experience and completely worth it,” said Blake Parkinson, a junior at Borah High School. “I have learned a lot through this competition.”

Students from all 50 states are competing for millions in scholarships, trophies and prizes at the state and national Ford/AAA Auto Skills competitions.

“This competition can jump start education and career plans as it develops a quality workforce equipped to respond to increasingly sophisticated auto repair challenges,” said AAA spokesman, Dave Carlson.