Marquis Wilds liked to watch his dad work on cars. Now he’s the go-to man for things that need fixing.
On Tuesday, Wilds became the first person to receive a Burke/Joines Scholarship that will pay him $1,150 to buy the books he needs for an auto repair program he is enrolled in at Forsyth Technical Community College.
Wilds, a freshman, is enrolled in the Automotive Toyota Technician Training and Education Network program at Forsyth Tech, which teaches students to become factory-certified repair technicians at Toyota and Lexus dealerships.
Mayor Allen Joines and Council Member Vivian Burke formed the scholarship program last fall, and both were at Forsyth Tech on Tuesday to take part in a short ceremony awarding the scholarship.
The scholarship pays for tuition, books or both for up to six semesters at Forsyth Tech. To be eligible, a student must be a resident of public housing or live in a home where the household income is below the poverty level.
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Although Burke and Joines are public officials, they are paying for the scholarship out of their pockets.
Joines said he’s hoping to interest the business community of the city in paying for at least four more future scholarship, and said he’s found two businesses wanting to take part.
Wilds said that he will be doing an internship as part of his training and would be working for a dealership after he’s finished.
“I got interested in this program when I was in my junior year at the Career Center,” Wilds said. “I set my mind on the Toyota program.”
Burke and Joines said they would be picking another scholarship winner in the fall, when they also hope to have more scholarships to pass out with the help of local businesses.