Gideon Pursues American Dream with TechForce Scholarship

Gideon's Passion for Automotive: Made Possible by Hard Work and Powered by a TechForce Foundation Scholarship

by TechForce Staff

Meet Gideon, a TechForce scholarship recipient originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who is now studying to become an automotive technician in the United States.

Our staff had an opportunity to hear from Gideon on how his family created the opportunity for him to pursue his education in the US, and his plans for a career in the future of mobility.

Portrait of Gideon smiling into the camera and wearing semi-formal clothes.

Developing a Passion for Automotive

Gideon’s determination to achieve his goals is clear. “My dream career is to become an automotive inventor. I want to start my own business one day and build future cars.”

However, he faced an all too relatable challenge early in his educational career. “I struggled to find something that I was passionate about as a kid. Now I found the automotive industry and it’s the number one motivation I have for my life.”

Thanks to his education in the United States Gideon was able to discover and pursue his passion for automotive. Without his family’s hard work and perseverance in moving to the US, Gideon says, he would not have had the same opportunities.

Failure is Not an Option

“Life was really hard, especially for my mother. In the Congo, everyone is expected to pay for school from kindergarten through college. Most people don’t have the money, so they either had to be taught at home or not at all, creating a cycle of poverty and lack of opportunity,” Gideon explained. “This is why we came to the US for better education and more opportunities.”

Adjusting to life in the US was of course a challenge, but as he puts it, “I do not consider failure an option.”

His hard work is paying off – Gideon is thriving! “I’ve taken 14 classes at UTI and managed to stay above a 3.5 GPA while working at Firestone to gain experience. I’ve learned so many things, like basic maintenance, suspension, alignments, electrical diagnostics, and more.”

TechForce Scholarships Create Space to Become "Best of the Best"

Gideon is thrilled and honored to have received TechForce Foundation’s Ford FACT Pedal to the Metal MSAT Tuition Scholarship. The scholarship is one of many funded by Ford Motor Company and awarded by TechForce throughout the year to help students cover the cost of their advanced Ford-specific technician training courses.

Gideon is looking forward to continuing to further his education, and can’t wait for his automotive career to officially begin.

In his own words, “For me, this is only the beginning of something big and I am really ambitious about it. After I graduate from UTI I will strive to be the best of the best. Then I will work my way up to start my own network for inventing unique transportation vehicles.”

About TechForce Scholarships

A TechForce scholarship (or cash grant) is a financial award to aid students in paying for the cost of their technical education. It does not require repayment. TechForce scholarships are privately funded by our partners, meaning the funds come from corporate and individual donors – not the government. It’s expected our scholarships are added to any other financial support you receive.

TechForce Foundation awards over $1.5 Million annually to students in transportation technician programs around the country. Eligible technician programs include automotive, aviation, collision repair, diesel on- & off-road, motorcycle, marine & watercraft, restoration, welding, CNC and more!

Find a scholarship and apply today at


Meet Brennen: Army Veteran and TechForce Scholarship Recipient

Meet Brennen, Beneficiary of The John & Bernadette Heenan Veterans at Work Fund

Brennen is an Army veteran who knows how to overcome obstacles while giving back

“Since I was a little girl, I’ve always really enjoyed working with my hands and I knew I wanted to be a technician. I look forward to learning everything I can and being able to move up the ranks of master technician. My ultimate goal is to one day own my own shop and getting certified is going to help tremendously with those plans.”

Photo of Brennan, TechForce scholarship recipient

Overcoming challenges and inspiring others to do the same

Balancing being a single mother, working and going to school can prove to be very challenging. Brennen says, “I’m always feeling like I have to prove and push myself further than everyone else because I am a female in a male dominated industry.”
“I’d like to change the way women feel about having a career in the industry and make it easier for them to pursue their dreams. I am dedicated to reaching my goals. I keep my head up, practice, study and take any experience I can to perfect my craft. Being in school for something I am passionate about has made me more confident and not afraid to work in the industry. I want my daughter to know that she can be anything she wants to be without any fears.”

Finding ways to give back

Brennen understands how important it is to be involved and give back to her community. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season she makes sure to volunteer at a local homeless shelter.

Being a single mom, Brennen cannot live on campus. Paying for rent and school expenses makes it difficult for Brennen to make ends meet.

About the scholarship

The John & Bernadette Heenan Veterans at Work Fund helps make it possible for Brennen to pay for her technical education and living expenses.

For more on how TechForce scholarships and grants support students through their technical education, visit


Student Spotlight: Alejandro pursues dream with Ford ASSET Accelerate Tuition Scholarship

Alejando Finds his Path to Success with a TechForce Scholarship

About TechForce scholarships

Alejandro received a Ford ASSET Accelerate Tuition Scholarship from TechForce Foundation. TechForce scholarships and grants help students pay for their technician training expenses. Learn how TechForce Foundation can help you cover the cost of tuition, tools, books, transportation and even emergencies at

A bright future as a technician

A photo of TechForce scholarships recipient Alejandro. Alejandro is wearing a blue technician work shirt, and is sitting on the hood of a red Mazda coupe.Alejandro is excited about becoming an automotive tech!

“I would like to tell you why the right path to success for me is being an automotive technician. Ever since I was a toddler I’ve always loved being around and working on cars. Throughout the years my passion for automobiles has grown even more profoundly. Before enrolling into a technical college and joining the Ford ASSET program, my skills, knowledge, and understanding of how a vehicle works were dismal.”

Trial and error

Although I haven’t had much experience with cars, that didn’t stop me from attempting to do my own oil change, and I quickly learned why choosing the right tool for the job is important. That’s why I decided to join the Ford ASSET program. To me, a technician is somebody who follows the specifications in shop manuals such as torquing the bolts to the right specification and not just ‘good and tight’. I want to learn the proper way to not only diagnose, but to be able to perform repairs that are up to the standards of a major automotive manufacturer.

After just two quarters in school I have greatly improved my confidence in working on a vehicle but also my knowledge and hand skills. I am dedicated to graduating from technical school and becoming a technician. I have seen what a well-trained technician can do on a race track, when it comes to safety and making sure that a car can consistently perform. There are no cutting corners!”

Driven by passion and purpose

Alejandro’s passion for automotive fills his free time. If he is not in school, he’s at work trying to get as many hours and experience as he can. Alejandro says, “My parents aren’t able to financially support me in my pursuit of a better career. I’ve paid out of my own pocket for tuition. I have been able to stay on top of my grades and maintain focus on my education.”

Alejandro's goals are closer with TechForce scholarships

Alejandro’s dream is to one day open up his own shop. He says, “I want to be able to run a business but also not just be a manager/owner that doesn’t know how to repair or diagnose a vehicle. Being a well-trained automotive technician would allow me to have the necessary skill set to work and to follow my dreams.”

Alejandro is paying for his own education and is only able to work 20 hours a week due to his school schedule. A Ford ASSET Accelerate Tuition Scholarship provides financial assistance so that Alejandro can continue his education and pursue his dream career in automotive.