Announcing Penske Outstanding Student Award Winner


Congratulations Melesa Starks – Winner of the Roger Penske Outstanding Student Award

Melesa Starks standing in front of a blue wall, smiling. Melesa is wearing a blue polo shirt, glasses, and a name tag clipped to her collar. On the wall are three plaques recognizing Roger Penske.

Melesa is described by many as the “ideal candidate.” In addition to a perfect school record, her enthusiasm for the industry was evident to instructors in both her Automotive II and Volvo SAFE programs. Fellow students know Melesa is the one they can go to for advice and support, whether it be about a career move or a good chicken soup recipe.

Now a graduate, Melesa has been offered a job with Volvo, allowing for a new city and new adventures. Her beaming smile will also be seen as part of TechForce Foundation’s Women Techs Rock initiatives.

Committee judges were impressed by Melesa’s ability to be proactive and tenacious in all aspects of life: school opportunities, personal experiences, and community support needs. Her horse therapy work with Freedom Ride and involvement with the Alzheimer’s Association were additional reasons she was selected as winner.

The Penske Outstanding Student Award recognizes students dedicated to succeeding in the automotive/diesel service industry who have demonstrated the ability to assist other students to do the same.

Victor De Leon, Jr. and Dakota Ty Hendrick were chosen as runners-up.




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"By connecting students, instructors, industry pros and working techs, the TechForce Foundation provides unilateral support to the transportation industry’s technician recruiting needs… The administration of our Scholarships by the TechForce team has been instrumental in delivering us with a successful method to gain interest from qualified candidates as well as provide our students with additional assistance to complete their education."
Tony Farr
Ford Technical Programs Manager