In January 2021, Harbor Freight Tools for Schools created a student advisory committee, opening the floor to student voices in skilled trades education. The students were selected by winners of the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence. Meeting via videoconferencing, students shared what drew them to their various shop classes, what their experiences have been like, and their ideas and hopes for the future of skilled trades education.
Katie Juarez, an 11th grader from Bullard-Havens Technical High School in Bridgeport, Connecticut, has been an avid and thoughtful contributor. Katie was recommended for the committee by her automotive teacher, Roxanne Amiot, who was named a grand prize winner of the prize in 2017. Katie has often spoken in meetings about the need for more role models and women teachers to promote gender diversity in the trades.
Katie’s initiative and excellence in the classroom, as well as her apprenticeship at a local Land Rover dealership, landed her the title of ‘Student of the Month’ by Tomorrow’s Technician, an automotive publication. To learn more about how Katie got started in automotive, her experience as a student ambassador, and her ambitions for the future of women in trades, watch her interview on Tomorrow’s Technician online.