Auto Collision student surprised with 3M scholarship

BY Amanda Sotelo

Texas State Technical College Auto Collision Technology student Javier Rey received a surprise recently at a presentation hosted by his program and 3M, a global science company and TSTC industry partner.

Rey, who is pursuing a Certificate 2 in Auto Collision Generalist Specialist, became the recipient of the 2016 Collision Repair Education Foundation’s 3M Hire Our Heroes Scholarship.

With this scholarship, the United State Navy veteran received $1,000 for college tuition and costs, $1,500 for 3M tools he needs while in school and another $3,000 for additional tools upon employment in the collision industry.

“I never expected my name to be called, I was shocked,” said Rey. “The extra time I took to fill out the application was definitely worth it now. This is a huge load off my shoulders.”

Auto Collision Department Chair and Instructor Jose Vargas, TSTC Provost Dr. Stella Garcia, 3M Account Representative Fernando de la Garza and O’Reilly Territory Sales Manager Juan Guzman presented Rey with the award.

“I am proud that one of our own veteran students received this award,” said Vargas. “We support our veterans and are appreciative of everything they have done for our country. This gentleman is very deserving of this award and I hope with this he is able to fulfill his dreams.”

Rey who served in the Navy for six years as a mechanic and military police officer, said when he returned to civilian life he did not know what profession he wanted to pursue, but finding TSTC and the Auto Collision program gave him the opportunity at a new career. He added this scholarship now gives him the chance to be successful in the industry.

“Tools are very expensive, but necessary if I want to work in the industry,” said Rey. “These tools are what helps me make money and now I can get exactly what I need. This is a tremendous help and I’m so grateful to 3M for this award.”

Rey is set to graduate in August and already has a full-time job waiting for him at a local Brownsville dealership he currently works at part-time.

“TSTC and my instructors have really shown me the path I need to take in this industry,” said Rey. “Having this job opportunity is reassuring my future and has given me the foundation to keep going.”

Garza explained how this scholarship is for students, like Rey, who exemplify a commitment and dedication to a career in the auto collision industry.

“The importance of this scholarship is to give funds to those students who are looking to take advantage of a career in the auto body collision industry,” said Garza. “We’re glad we can help students who are serious about making this a profession with the monies to help them succeed.”

Garcia and Vargas encourage students to apply for scholarships and grants such as the one presented to Rey by 3M. They explained there are thousands of dollars in student assistance available and only hundreds of students apply.

“There a lot of scholarship opportunities that go unawarded,” said Garcia. “It’s important that students realize the help is there, they just need to try. We are so grateful for 3M making this opportunity available to our students and we are thankful for this award.”

Auto Collision Technology is offered at both Harlingen and Waco campuses. Registration for Fall 2016 is in progress. Apply or register anytime online at

For more information on the local Auto Collision Technology program call 956-364-4659.