Automotive Student’s Journey Started Before She Got to Blackhawk

May 18, 2022


Kimberly Colson’s journey to becoming an automotive technician started in the years before enrolling in Blackhawk’s automotive program.

In high school, Kimberly completed a youth apprenticeship at a local body shop in her hometown of Elkhorn. She also took advantage of the opportunity to get multiple automotive-related certifications and won an automotive competition.

She chose Blackhawk for its flexible class options that allowed her to work in the industry while still completing her schooling.

“The flexibility has given me the opportunity to continue to work full time as a service manager in an automotive center while also attending the automotive program,” she said.

Since enrolling, she has discovered that it is possible to work full-time and also be a full-time student if you have the right people supporting you through it. But it hasn’t always been easy.

“I've had to learn how to navigate being in a field that is primarily dominated by males. My choice in pursuing a career in the automotive field has been met with negative attention,” she said. “But, I have also come across amazingly supportive teachers and peers who have helped me work towards my goal.”

Automotive instructor Sheldon Newkirk takes pleasure in watching Kimberly develop throughout the semester and says her positive attitude has taken her to the top of her class.

“Kimberly portrayed herself as a leader in the class backed by her wisdom and knowledge of automotive diagnostic and repair,” he said. “Kim's hard work and dedication propelled her to the front and to the top of her class as a desirable leader with a personal demeanor that is sought out by the auto industry.”

Kimberly plans to graduate in 2023 and get into a dealership as a technician. Her ultimate goal is to own an automotive repair shop.

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