Wallace State Diesel Technology students Zachary Benefield, Kyle Keck inaugural recipients of Alabama Trucking Association scholarship

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Wallace State students Zachary Benefield and Kyle Keck were recognized this week by the Alabama Trucking Association as recipients of the inaugural scholarship in the program. Pictured, are, from left, Wallace State President Dr. Vicki Karolewics, students Zachary Benefield and Kyle Keck, ATA Foundation Chairman Terry Kilpatrick, ATA’s Tim Frazier, Wallace State’s Dean of Applied Technologies Jimmy Hodges and Wallace State Diesel Technology instructor Jeremy Smith.

HANCEVILLE –  Wallace State Diesel Technology students Zachary Benefield and Kyle Keck are recipients this semester of the inaugural Alabama Trucking Association (ATA) Foundation Scholarship Fund through an agreement with the Wallace State Future Foundation.

Both students were recognized on campus this week by Tim Frazier, ATA director of safety and member services, and Terry Kilpatrick, chairman of the ATA Foundation.

“Diesel Technology is a great career and field to be in. There’s a great demand for it. Being from this area, I’ve been familiar with Wallace State for many years, so we’re excited to support the program here and see these students get an opportunity. We hope this helps take them a long way in their careers,” Frazier said.

The ATA Scholarship for Diesel Technology students awards $1,500 per semester and funds tuition, books, fees and supplies. Students in the program are eligible for the scholarship after completing one semester and maintaining a specific grade point average.

Benefield, an Eva native, is currently in his final semester at Wallace State and will graduate from the program in May. He enjoys the electrical components and applications that make up the program.

“This is a tremendous opportunity. Expenses like tools add up, so I’m very grateful,” said Benefield, 20. “I’m fond of the electrical side of new engines and it’s something that’s going to grow in the future.”

Earlier this month, Keck began his second semester in the program, driving to Wallace State from his hometown of Guntersville. He was attracted to the Diesel Technology program after visiting the college as a high school senior.

“This scholarship is a blessing. I commute each day, so it helps with expenses. I can reinvest my money into fuel costs,” Keck said. “I also like the electrical side of the program and want to be a part of the cutting edge of everything in this profession.”

Wallace State Diesel Technology instructor Jeremy Smith is among those grateful this scholarship is available for his students.

“We want to make sure we are putting out the best product and students we can. We want students to leave here and be ready to go into the workforce. These funds and scholarships allow them to buy books, tools, access codes and things they need to ease the burden and help them grow as students,” Smith said. “Zachary Benefield and Kyle Keck are very deserving of this scholarship. They are top-notch students.”

The Alabama Trucking Association, based out of Montgomery, has represented state trucking operations since 1938, serving as a top ambassador for the industry. To learn more about ATA, visit www.alabamatrucking.org/about/

For more information about Wallace State’s Diesel Technology program, visit www.wallacestate.edu/programs/technical-division/diesel-mechanics

For more information about Wallace State, visit www.wallacestate.edu.