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GAAS Scholarship Program Announces 1,500th Recipient

Charles Grospitch of Olmsted Falls, Ohio, has been recognized as the 1,500th student to receive a GAAS scholarship.

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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – To celebrate the 15-year history of the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS) Scholarship Program, Charles Grospitch of Olmsted Falls, Ohio, has been recognized as the 1,500th student to receive a GAAS scholarship.

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"The committee members felt very strongly about marking this milestone for the GAAS Scholarship Program and acknowledging Charles as its 1,500th award recipient," said Pete Kornafel, chairman of the GAAS Scholarship Committee. "Charles exemplifies the ideal GAAS Scholarship recipient by having a love for the automotive industry, an excellent academic record and plenty of hands-on experience."

Grospitch, a 2009 graduate of Olmsted Falls High School, is majoring in automotive high performance technology at the University of Northwestern Ohio and currently holds a 3.8 grade point average.

"I realize that hard work and a good education are keys to opening doors," Grospitch wrote in his application essay. "It is my goal to use my education and work experience to fulfill my dream of having a rewarding and challenging career in the automotive industry."

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In 2009, Grospitch was selected by his classmates to participate in the SkillsUSA competition, where he placed first in the Ohio state competition and sixth in the national competition. Grospitch also placed seventh in the Ohio state finals Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition in 2009.

Grospitch is currently employed by Advance Auto Parts, as well as K & B Engine & Machine in North Olmsted, Ohio. He also has passed six of the eight Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) mechanical certification tests and the Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) refrigerant certification.

A self-described classic car enthusiast and a "Chevy" guy, Grospitch has restored a 1980 Camaro and a 1966 C-20 pickup truck. He is now working on modifying and customizing a 1977 Nova.

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While in high school, Grospitch participated in marching band for four years and organized and sponsored an annual car show to help raise money for band uniforms.

The GAAS Scholarship Committee, which accepts scholarship applications through its website, www.automotivescholarships.com, recently announced that it is presenting awards to 86 U.S. students for the 2010-2011 academic year. In its 15-year history, the fund has presented more than $1.5 million in awards to more than 1,500 students.

Additional scholarship funding comes from industry contributions from individuals, companies and foundations. Contributions can be made to the GAAS Scholarship Fund, c/o Susan Medick at AAIA, at 301-654-6664, or [email protected]

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The annual two-day Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium brings together industry leaders and experts to examine the issues and trends affecting the automotive aftermarket and influencing its future. The 2011 event is set for Wednesday and Thursday, May 18-19, at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Chicago, Ill. Details are at www.globalsymposium.org.

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