We’re changing more than the face of automotive retail. We’re changing lives.

THREE KEYS TO SUCCESS

Grassroots implementation by dealers is the core of the scholarship program.
It’s a great way for dealers to show they value women throughout the retail experience.
Take action today:

DONATE

Donate and collect funds for
the scholarship fund.

NOMINATE

Nominate high-potential candidates
for scholarship consideration.

PROMOTE

Promote the program with students,
educators and employees.

Tara Rodgers started working at Jack Schmitt Chevrolet in O’Fallon, Illinois, washing cars. She’s now a porter at the dealership, a 4.0 student at Lewis and Clark Community College and a WRN Drive to Succeed Scholarship winner. The executive manager at Jack Schmitt can’t say enough about Rodgers and hopes she’ll work full-time at the dealership when she’s completed school. Rodgers, who’s studying Automotive Technology, is still a rare breed. She grew up wrenching on car and trucks, and quickly developed the love of fixing them. Thanks to the scholarship program, she received $2,500 toward her automotive studies.

If you think you know the WRN Drive to Succeed Scholarship winners, think again. Sure, they’re top students pursuing technical and non-technical auto-related degrees. But our winners represent all walks of life — military veterans, dealership employees, mothers and grandmothers, technicians, accountants, body shop specialists and even a professional racecar driver. What do they all have in common? They’re all passionate about serving customers as part of GM’s automotive retail experience.

The WRN Drive to Succeed Scholarship program demonstrates the value GM and its dealers place on women and their importance to the Company’s overall success. With women now the No. 1 consumer of automotive sales and service, it is paramount that we deliver an experience focused on their needs. This includes a representative, diverse dealer body that is attentive, knowledgeable and committed to excellence.

“With every scholarship awarded we are investing in our future, as well as helping women reach their true potential. Our dealers are already benefiting from the skills scholarship winners are bringing into the workplace. Exceptional female employees increase customer loyalty and overall profitability, and attract other women to the automotive industry.”
− Lisa Rebowe, WRN Scholarship chair

GM and its dealers continue as the only manufacturing/retail partnership to offer scholarships to women pursuing academic degrees in automotive management and technical fields. Since 2011, the program has provided 51 individual scholarships totaling $157,000.00 to students in the U.S. and Canada representing a variety of sales regions, ethnicities and cultural backgrounds.

The WRN Drive to Succeed Scholarship program is providing a path for women to reach their professional and personal dreams. At the same time, we’re filling the pipeline with extraordinary women who are changing the face of automotive retail.”
Celeste Briggs, WRN director

Many of our scholarship winners are currently working in GM dealerships in a variety of positions — administrative, BDC, sales, marketing, service and parts. They are transferring their classroom learning to real-world settings, and vice versa. They’re also implementing best practices to improve operations and elevate the role of women throughout the retail experience.

The goal for the scholarship campaign is simple: More donations, more promotions and more nominations. Here’s how to get involved:

  • Please make your donations online now. Fundraising is open all year.
  • Use the suggestions in the toolkit to create awareness of the tremendous opportunities that exist for women in automotive sales, service and retail management by working with local civic organizations, media, and schools/colleges/vocational programs.
  • Partner with educators to identify interested young women and encourage female candidates — including your employees — to apply.
  • Work with GM WOMEN in the field to develop a creative game plan for promotion, nomination, contribution.

Get Involved in the Scholarship Campaign

 

Meet Some Winners

CHRISTINA SALMON

Region: North Central
Hometown: Brighton, MI
Scholarship: $5,000
Attended: Northwood University
Area of Study: Automotive Marketing/Management
Dealership: Patsy Lou Automotive Group, Flint, MI

I have always had a love affair with cars. I grew up helping my dad maintain his collection of classic Corvettes. Being around my dad, a GM Powertrain engineer, I learned everything from working under the hood. When I turned 16, I bought myself a Pontiac Firebird. With a lot of hard work and determination, I believe I can achieve my dream of someday owning my own dealership and becoming a very successful businesswoman.

SHERYL SICKLES
Retired Air Force

Region: South Central
Hometown: Adrian, MO
Scholarship: $5,000
Attended: Metropolitan Community College
Area of Study: Automotive Technology

Last year I received a GM WRN Scholarship and I can’t begin to express my appreciation. I was treated like royalty. It is an experience I will never forget. The scholarship has made a huge difference in my life. Now I’m in school and learning about new technology like hybrid vehicles. I feel as though I’m already making a difference because people see me as an example of what is possible. I’m mentoring young women coming into their own.

SARA LANDRY

Region: North Central
Hometown: Bay City, MI
Scholarship: $2,500
Attended: Northwood University
Area of Study: Automotive Marketing/Management

Not only has working in the automotive industry been a ‘man’s job,’ but it was viewed that purchasing a car was a ‘man’s job’ as well. Today, that is certainly not the case. It is a beautiful thing to see women being more and more accepted in every way. I am privileged to have received a WRN Scholarship for the past three years. It has allowed me to pursue my passion for this industry. It has been a lifelong goal to succeed with GM in the auto industry.

Kasandra Hernandez

Region: Western
Hometown: American Falls Idaho
Scholarship: $2,000
Attended: Weber State University, Ogden, UT
Area of Study: Automotive Technology

I would like to get into a great dealership and be a service technician and the scholarship will really help me with my education. If another girl was thinking about what I’m doing — stepping out of my comfort zone — I’d say, go for it.

Damayanty Calderon

Region: North Central
Hometown: Romeoville, IL
Scholarship: $2,000
Attended: Joliet Community College
Area of Study: Automotive Technology

I love cars from the sound of the engine to the way it’s put in — beginning to end. I started out in the Business Development Center in the dealership where I am working and have also had the chance to move to the sales floor. So there’s lots of opportunity. I’m grateful not only for the financial aid but also the mentoring from the Drive to Succeed scholarship.