For many students the decision to attend or not attend Grant is one of the toughest decisions they will have to make as a sophomore. Will I miss my friends? Do I want to attend a new school? Do I really like that program enough to change schools? The decision is one that many students struggle with for weeks until they make that final decision. For Kimmy, going to Grant changed everything, and she wouldn’t change it for the world.
Let me introduce you to Auto Collision Senior Kimmy List.
Mr. Dorsey: Tell me about the first time you came to Grant?
Kimmy: The first time I came to Grant was during my sophomore year. I wasn’t able to come to Grant during my 8th grade year because I was sick. I took a lot of time to think about what lab I wanted to shadow during sophomore days. I picked what I was used to,so I picked Auto Collision, Metal Fab, Equine, and Auto Technology.
Mr. Dorsey: Why are you used to those fields?
Kimmy: I grew up around cars and tradespeople. My babysitter, her sons were in the auto technology and auto collision fields. My family and I work on a farm. Pretty much, metal fab got thrown into the mix from fixing cars.
Mr. Dorsey: When did you know that Auto Collision was your gig?
Kimmy: I knew about a lot about the technicals, the engine, the radio, wirings, all of that in auto tech. I thought why not learn something different, how about auto body. I didn’t know much, just knew how to rattle can paint a car and fix some dents, by pounding them out with a hammer. On sophomore days when I got into what the lab... I thought it was awesome! I just knew that is what I wanted to do.
Mr. Dorsey: What was the next step... did you apply?
Kimmy: I was really on the fence about Grant as a whole. I was worried that if I did go to Grant, even though I liked it for a day, but I was not sure if I would like it for a whole two years. I had a lot talks with my guidance counselors and my teachers. They really pushed me to go to Grant. It was a last-minute commitment.
Mr. Dorsey:So what did your mom think?
Kimmy: She was worried, she didn’t know if that is really what I wanted to do. When you’re a kid you get that question, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” The answer jumped all around growing up. My mother had never heard of a bodyman before. She was a little worried, but she helped me through it. We decided that going to Grant would be best and she helped me get here.
Mr. Dorsey: What’s your first impression about your teachers?
Kimmy: I have loved every teacher that I have had. Every teacher here is amazing! They have helped me with all my work, they have helped me understand when I didn’t. They have all been really sweet and welcoming. They understoodthat each of us learn differently than others and that everyone has different learning experiences. Most teachers at our homeschools, I don’t think they understood that. Here at Grant they really take that into consideration thatthey are teaching different people.
When I first met Kimmy, she was quiet and reserved. She had a vision of what she "wanted to be when she grew up" but needed something, as she said, to get it started. She found her something when she came to Grant Career Center! Kimmy demonstrates the motivation to be successful! She has a passion for working on cars and is one tough cookie! When I think about the ideal student to model what Grant Career Center is all about, Kimmy is one of our many success stories! - Amanda Watson, Intervention Specialist
Mr. Dorsey: What is your favorite thing to do out in Auto Collision?
Kimmy: I love to paint. Painting has always been my thing. I can spray paint with rattle cans, I paint on canvases and walls in the house. I just love to paint.
Mr. Dorsey: Tell me about your lab instructors. You have 2 so tell me a little bit about each.
Kimmy: Mr. Kruse is hilarious. He is such a fun person to be around. I love his stories. He loves to tell stories about his experiences in the auto collision field. He is a very understanding guy. He understands if this won’t work, we will have to find another way to fix something. He always tries to show me the best and easiest way to fix something. Both my lab instructors think outside the box. Mr. Patten and Mr. Kruse are really good friends which makes it easier to work with both of them. Mr. Patten is always out in lab, always hands on, he is always right there if you need help, he is right there over your shoulder making sure things are going smoothly. If you are worried about something, they both are there to help build confidence and get you to try something new. They are also there to make sure you are being safe.
Mr. Dorsey: Let’s talk about some opportunities that you have had this year.
Kimmy: I have job shadowed at Dualite in Williamsburg and Carstar in Amelia, and both offered me jobs. I job shadowed at Smyth, and that is where I am currently working. All three companies were welcoming and excited about adding a body man. They all took into consideration that I am still a kid and that I am still learning, and that I will make mistakes, but assured me that if I did make a mistake, it was okay. I have had two more body shops show interest in hiring me. It’s exciting. There are a lot of decisions that I will have to make.
Kimmy List is a hard worker and has a very energetic desire to learn new things. Kimmy’s personality make you enjoy being around her. She was excited to start her Early Placement experience with Smyth Automotive Paint store and is progressing very well. - Mike Patten, Collision Instructor
Mr. Dorsey: Let's talk about how you are a girl in a predominantly male field.
Kimmy: It can be hard at times. You get those looks from customers and sometimes you get those comments from the other guys in the lab saying this is a guy's program, or girls won’t make it far. This is a girl's job, and this is a guy’s job in this industry. A lot of times, though, if the guys are having trouble with something, they will then come ask us for help. Sometimes the guys get jealous when we get an awesome project!
Mr. Dorsey: If a sophomore asked you should they come to Grant what would you tell them?
Kimmy: I would say do it, no matter what. Whatever is holding you back at your home school, don’t worry about it. Go to Grant. Grant will change everything for you. I have job offers that I thought I would never be able to get. By coming to Grant, I am in places where I thought I would never be.
Kimmy has been a wonderful student to get to know. She is a talented young woman;little did Kimmy know that her tough decision to attend Grant has had a ripple effect. She now will have many tough decisions to make as she looks to her future and her many job offers. Grant Career Center is very proud of all your accomplishments, Kimmy!
Grant Career Center hopes to highlight a wide range of our students as possible. If you would like to nominate a Grant student, past or present, to be showcased in Faces of Grant please submit your referral here.