Undercar: Ride Control Estimator
Wyatt passed all 10 of his ASE Student tests in his first semester. Student of the Month is sponsored by Continental.
Wyatt Blay is a junior in North Kansas City Schools’ Automotive Technology Program. With a diagnosis of ADHD, anxiety, Autism: Asperger’s and bipolar disorder, this non-traditional student travels to the Career and Technical Education Center twice a week to participate in the program. An incredibly hard worker, Wyatt passed all 10 of his ASE Student Certification tests in his first semester.
Wyatt, tell us what got you interested in automotive repair and service?
It really started out with a lawnmower in the backyard that wasn’t running right and from there, it went to a couple of chainsaws that I picked up from my grandfather. After those, I started working on my dad’s truck, an old ‘86 F250, which we still have and drive around.
I was a sophomore when I heard about this program. I was already looking into what I wanted to do, which was repair vehicles. Quite honestly, I have a love for anything mechanical. I had two options – diesel mechanics program and automotive. I chose this one because I heard that it would be tougher and I wanted a challenge.
What do you think you’ve learned most from
Mr. Stow, your instructor?
He’s definitely taught me to have a lot more patience and he has taught me a lot more about how to diagnose and repair parts, and learn what not to do and what to do. Really before he came along, I was kind of doing my own thing, learning as I went. Now, I have somebody with experience who can guide me. I have much greater knowledge than what I would have otherwise.
I passed all 10 of my ASE tests. To be quite honest, it’s not a matter of how much you study. You need the real-world experience too. Essentially, pretty much everything I’ve done within the program and outside the program led up to my knowledge that helped me pass the tests.
What have been your favorite projects?
Inside the class would have to be the F250 that I talked about earlier. We recently brought it in for an alignment. But outside of school, my favorite project, which is still ongoing, is my personal 1961 F100 that I am restoring.
Have you made plans for after high school yet?
Well, I’ll get a degree from either college, trade school or technical school – I’ll decide that when I graduate, because my interests may change between which one I want to go to. Then I’ll get an entry level job in the field and, after that, eventually save up and get my own shop.
Wyatt’s instructor, Jack Stow, says he’s never had a student who has kept him so motivated. “I have to stay sharp! Sometimes kids just ask goofy questions, but when Wyatt asks me a question about something, I listen, because he checks on me and he’ll call me out on my stuff – in front of the class! I think CTEC and the environment have been good for him, both educationally and just getting to be a kid.”
“You can see the cogs turn and it puts everything in its place. The thing is, he’s good right now, but he thinks he’s REALLY good,” laughs Stow. “But I think that’s just him as a high school kid.”