This year’s OMS Scholarship Recipient is Austin Sparks. A few of his interests are classic cars, sports, fishing, and hunting. Austin has been inspired by an uncle who owns his own shop.  Austin views cars as a work of art and hopes to own his own car shop one day.  He also recognizes how important it is to have a college degree to be successful in the automotive field.

Austin is a recent Milwaukie High School graduate.  He spent all four years of his high school career in the Automotive Program at the Sabin-Schellenberg Center. During his senior year, he was given an internship at Camp Withycombe where he worked on diesels.  His internship supervisor wrote, ‘Austin’s hard work, constant craving for more knowledge and his ‘can do’ attitude left this shop a better place than he found it.  He is highly motivated and a great leader for his peers.”

You may have seen this talented young man at the JET Motors BBQ in October.  He enjoyed seeing all the Minis, meeting other Gear Heads, and exploring the cool JET Motors shop!  He hopes to attend several of our OMS events and be involved with the upcoming ABFM. Congratulations Austin!

2016 Austin Sparks Russ Peterson

Thank You Letter

To the Oregon Mini Society,

My name Austin Sparks, on June 4th, I was going to graduate from Milwaukie High School. Two days prior to graduation, there was an assembly in our gymnasium. A women named Punky Smith took the stage and asked “ Will Austin Sparks please come forward?” With some slight confusion and some uncertainty, I went to the stage. She was there to represent Clackamas Community College and to announce the scholarship winners. As she handed me three award certificates, I said “ You handed me three.” She said “ Yes, you’ve earned all three.” With still some confusion, it wasn’t until mid-summer that I started to get letters from Clackamas Community College. Until this point, I thought I was going to Portland Community College to study Diesel Mechanics. With an invitation from the Financial Aid and Automotive Departments, I was asked to come for a site tour. This is when I met some of the staff and got to walk through the Auto Body and Collision Repair shops. At that point, I thought “ what the hell am I going to do?” I could build onto my four years of mechanic works through Sabin Schellenberg Technical Center or to begin to learn more about the exterior and interior of an automobile. It is my ultimate goal to work with my Uncle’s performance and fabrication shop in Boise, Idaho until I can open my own shop. At this point, with the money offered through CCC, the decision to change course was clear. With the financial burden removed from my parents now, the Oregon Mini Society has allowed me not only to pay for school tuition and equipment, but has allowed me to cut back on working my job throughout the school year. All my time during school hours and now after, I will be able to exceed and concentrate on my future profession. As a bonus, I’m now going to be able to to earn a full Associate Degree, in Automotive through CCC. Please don’t think I’ve lost my desire to learn more about Diesel Mechanics. I still have the full intentions of completing the PCC program afterward in 2018.

I truly thank the Oregon Mini Society for participating in the financial aid of a high school student and mostly that you choose me. It was fun to meet and talk at the JET Motors barbecue. I was awestruck when I walked in the shop down from the house. You really have taken such a small car and made them into wonders of beauty and speed. All of these are things that I hope to learn and gain through your belief in me at CCC. I look forward to participating in additional OMS events and thank you again.

Austin Sparks