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Butler Collision Repair Network blogger Jenni Engelbrecht’s rant for females in the industry tackles an important issue.

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Right from the start I knew being a girl wanting to do collision repair, I was going to be the odd one out. It kept me back from realizing my dream.

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I am not a feminist who needs to prove women should be able to do exactly what a man can do, and as well, I just know what I love and won’t let condescending public expectations stand in my way.

Honestly, I was frightened to death of a class full of guys. But I enrolled anyway and sure enough, a class full of 9 guys and me. So awkward, and I’m not a confident social person to begin with.
The first semester I felt shunned and left out, even though I was voted class leader (I’m pretty sure that was only so I’d be in charge of cleanup).

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I felt I had to work twice as hard to get it because I had no background in cars or tools really. The second semester was better, some of the students had dropped out or failed and I felt better that I could do this.

At the start of the second year, I was able to become a student worker for the morning class and I saw that there was another girl. I was so happy that I couldn’t wait to meet her, hoping that in some weird way we could connect just on the fact that we’re girls overshadowed by guys.

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I figured she’d feel left out as well, and since I’d been though that and come out OK, that she could get a little encouragement to continue. I’d hoped also to do a project together that she could learn on and would be something she could enjoy. I just wouldn’t want some guys to be the reason any girl would miss out on a great shot at the future.
Jenni Engelbrecht

Read more of Jenni’s blogs and other student contributors, as well as entries from Donnie Smith, the Collision Repair Instructor for Butler Community College by visiting their blog page at http://bcrn.blogspot.com/ .  

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