dr martens dealer boots Student finds beauty in auto repair
VALDOSTA There’s beauty in discovering a new life and purpose in something otherwise considered non valuable or junk.
Wiregrass Tech student, Olivia Gilliland, has found her passion in life through the college’s auto collision repair program, according to a press release from Wiregrass Georgia Technical College.
Gilliland enrolled in the college after working as a customer service agent for more than 4,
000 car dealerships. She felt hemmed in this position not seeing any advancement, but it was more than that, according to Wiregrass.
She felt stuck, there wasn’t any passion for what she was doing. During breaks at work she found herself watching the technicians work on damaged vehicles and watched them bring an old car back to its original state.
“I dreamed to one day have the tools and knowledge to repair cars and paint awesome designs,
” Gilliland said.
Gilliland’s dream of bringing beauty back to old or damaged vehicles has come true.
Since entering college at Wiregrass Tech in the auto collision repair program, she has been busy, according to the school.
Last fall, her instructor,
Mark Whitson, nominated her for the college’s GOAL (student of the year) program where she made it to the top four. She is a member of the Student Government Association, and the student advisor for the auto collision repair program.
Gilliland is a member of SkillUSA through Wiregrass and competes in SkillsUSA competitions. This March, Gilliland along with the other members of Wiregrass SkillsUSA team will represent the college at the state competition in Atlanta.
Her artistic talent and skills came in handy again when she designed and airbrushed the turrets for a Star Wars pinball game used at the college’s annual Wired Up event last fall.
She recently participated in a community project where she was able to couple her artistic flair with the skills she’s learned in auto collision.
She air brushed painted metal daylilies as a SkillsUSA community project led by the 2017 18 Cook Leadership Group for the City of Adel.
“It was an honor to airbrush the daylilies,
one is almost 8 feet tall, I’m so proud of the work I’ve done,” she said.
Other programs involved in the daylily project include welding, auto collision repair and machine tool technology. Students from the Cook Campus cosmetology program helped raise funds for the project.
She credited Wiregrass for helping her rebuild her future. With the multiple financial aid programs such as Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act,
and other financial aid options she is able to attend college and stay clear of accruing any student load debt.
“I’m forever thankful that Wiregrass has given me the tools and strength to repair and refinish my life instead of totaling it,” she said.