Los Angeles Area Students Voice Opinions at LA Auto Show
AYES Future Techs comment on latest vehicles, technology
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 7 -- For parents visiting the 2006 Los Angeles Auto Show this week, finding a new car for their teen could be a top priority. Eight southern California high school students were on the hunt for all things new and exciting under the hood last week, as Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES) hosted a diverse and opinionated group of aspiring automotive technicians during media days on Nov. 30.
The "AYES Future Techs" are a part of AYES' nationwide initiative to provide superior training and opportunities for young people interested in careers in automotive technology. The Future Techs got a sneak peek at the latest concept and production vehicles; new technologies such as hybrid and fuel-cell powertrains; and the opportunity to interview manufacturers and share opinions on their offerings and trends.
"Looking under the hood of the sports cars was awesome," said Scott Peterson, a senior at Sultana High School in Hesperia. "I am a huge car fanatic, especially small cars that are fun to drive with plenty of aftermarket accessories. Le Mans racing is my favorite to watch."
Like many of the AYES Future Techs, Peterson's classmate, Robby Hipsher, also a senior with an internship at a dealership, plans to continue his automotive education in a manufacturer's post-secondary program. AYES' certified approach to instruction places emphasis on learning from a mentor technician already working in the field.
"I like solving problems, and working with a mentor is the best way to learn," said Hipsher. "It helps that I am passionate about vehicles, trucks in particular. Where we live, there's a lot of desert and a big truck is the best ride for that."
Several of the students are currently participating in internships at dealerships, learning the latest technology hands-on. Most intend to continue their education and training to eventually become a master technician, a field that is experiencing a shortage in qualified employees. With technology changing rapidly, AYES students combine their service department experience with classroom training for a comprehensive approach to their education.
"I'm excited about hybrids and fuel cell technology," said Salvador Rodriguez, a senior at West Valley Occupational Center in Woodland Hills. "Working on the new technology is a challenge and computers are also really important now. But saving money on gas is something that interests me, and I would definitely consider a fuel-efficient vehicle."
AYES selected eight exceptional students to serve as the 2006 AYES Future Techs in Los Angeles:
* Scott Peterson, Sultana High School, Hesperia, Calif. * Robby Hipsher, Sultana High School, Hesperia, Calif. * Nick Poiry, Sultana High School, Hesperia, Calif. * Sandra Aguiar, Hemet High School, Hemet, Calif. * Peyton Wynn, Hemet High School, Hemet, Calif. * Salvador Rodriguez, West Valley Occupational Center, Woodland Hills, Calif. * Deserea Godinez, Granada Hills Charter High School, Granada Hills, Calif. * Brian Torres, Granada Hills Charter High School, Granada Hills, Calif. About Automotive Youth Educational Systems
AYES is a dynamic partnership among 14 participating automotive manufacturers, the National Automobile Dealer's Association (NADA), state Automotive Trade Association Executives, Departments of Education, local dealers, and 410 selected local high schools/tech prep school programs. AYES' goal is to encourage quality students with a good mechanical aptitude to pursue careers in the ever-changing fields of automotive service technology or collision repair/refinish, and to prepare them for entry-level positions or challenging post-secondary academic options. For more information, visit http://www.ayes.org/ .