Shelby Wycough, Batesville, Arkansa
Field of Study: Diesel Mechanics

Women Rock Trades Scholarship

As a young girl growing up in a rural Arkansas community, I never imagined that my path would lead me to the world of mechanics. However, it was through my involvement in the Future Farmers of America (FFA) that I discovered my passion for this field and set my sights on a career as a diesel mechanic.

Joining FFA opened doors I never knew existed. Through hands-on experiences and exposure to various agricultural practices, I found myself drawn to the intricate workings of machinery, particularly diesel engines. Whether it was restoring tractors or troubleshooting equipment malfunctions, every moment spent in the shop ignited a spark within me.

One of the defining moments of my journey in FFA was when I had the opportunity to restore a tractor to use on a local farm. From the beginning of the project, I felt at ease taking apart the engine and putting it back together. I caught on quickly and was eventually able to help my fellow students understand what to do. I responded well to the work because I am very precision and detail oriented. It was during this project that I realized the potential within the diesel mechanic field and knew that I had found my calling.

In addition to my experiences in FFA, I have actively sought out opportunities to further my knowledge and expertise in mechanics. I left my job at a gift shop to work at Auto Zone so that I could familiarize myself with different auto parts and to gain a better understanding of the industry. An important lesson I learned from my experience in automotive is that women in this field are not always treated with the same respect as their male counterparts. Rather than deter me, that experience fueled me to succeed in this field and hopefully show other young women what is possible in the diesel mechanic industry.

My ultimate goal is to become a head diesel mechanic for Peterbilt. The thought of working for a reputable company like Peterbilt, leading a team of mechanics, and ensuring the smooth operation of heavy-duty vehicles fills me with a sense of purpose and excitement. I was shocked to learn that only 3.7% of diesel mechanics in the United States are females. I would like to do my part in spreading awareness about what a fulfilling career this can be. I am committed to make a lasting impact in the industry and to be an example to other females who are interested in the trades, especially diesel mechanics.

To achieve my goal, I am dedicated to continuous learning and growth. I am not afraid to work hard and dedicate myself to completing my education and training. There are very few diesel mechanic programs in my home state of Arkansas, so I have decided to relocate to Austin, Texas for my training. I plan to pursue further education and certifications to stay current on the latest developments in the field. I am also eager to gain hands-on experience in different aspects of diesel mechanics, preparing myself for the challenges and responsibilities that come with leadership roles.

In conclusion, my journey from FFA to my aspirations as a head diesel mechanic is a testament to my passion, determination, and unwavering commitment to success. With dedication, sacrifice, and hard work, I know that I will achieve my dreams and make a lasting impact in the field of mechanics.