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Piston Stories

Celebrating our 2024 Piston Scholar Graduates

It’s a very exciting time for us at the Piston Foundation. Eight of our Piston Scholars have graduated from their college programs and are now taking the next steps in their automotive restoration careers. Moments like these are important to celebrate not just because we want to cheer on our scholars, but because it highlights the importance of the work we do. Helping young people find a path into the industry is exactly what car culture depends on to keep running smoothly for years to come. Our eight scholars are well on their way to making that dream, as well as their own aspirations, a reality. Here’s where they are now.

By Christopher Perkowski

June 12, 2024

Piston’s 2024 Scholar Grads

Sean Whetstone

McPherson College

Sean works at Race Kraft and Design in Englewood, CO where he’d originally interned back in January. The facility boasts an engine room, development shop, and full service machine shop. Sean is pleased to work at a job where he’s constantly learning new things. “I’m very excited to be hired full time,” he said. “Race Kraft is a small, but very high level shop and I expect to get a lot of experience operating at the top of the collector car world.”

Rob Shonberner

McPherson College

Rob has accepted a position as a restoration mechanic at Okoboji Classic Cars LLC, located in Okoboji, Iowa. He first learned about and applied for the role through McPherson College’s career fair back in March and accepted a few weeks later. Rob hopes to gain plenty of valuable mechanic experience while also expanding his network and horizons. He looks “forward to further developing and strengthening [his] knowledge in the automotive world.”

Adam Hughes

McPherson College

Adam is working as a mechanic for a private collection in the Costa Mesa area of southern California, where he interned last summer. He looks forward to working closely with all sorts of cars and helping to prepare for events and shows. It’s a great opportunity where he plans to expand his knowledge of all things mechanical.

Ethan Heck

Lanier Technical College

Ethan graduated from Lanier Technical College’s Motorsports Vehicle Technology program in Gainesville, Georgia. He’s been a huge fan of motorsports ever since childhood and wants to become a racing mechanic. With college behind him, Ethan is well on his way to achieving that dream. “I’ve found a really strong liking for developing composite parts for race teams, whether it be Formula 1 or IndyCar or rally cars,” He said. “It would be interesting to develop and manufacture the carbon and composite components for those cars.”

Zoe Carmichael

McPherson College

Zoe has worked at the Garage Automotive Museum in Salina, Kansas since her Freshman year at McPherson College. Now that she’s graduated, she’ll be working there full time. Zoe very much enjoys the close-knit work environment at the museum. Several of the museum directors are McPherson Auto Restoration alums, giving them all a common background they can relate to. Zoe is happy to continue working with cars and sharing stories with her local community of car-centric enthusiasts.

Dryden Powell

McPherson College

Dryden is a big fan of upholstery, interiors, and body work. Now that he’s graduated, he wants to look for a shop position that allows him to focus on these pursuits. He’s exploring multiple options and seeing where the wind might take him. For now, he feels right at home in the Kansas area and plans to find his calling there.

Jasper Fedders

McPherson College

Jasper will be working for an independent shop in McPherson, KS this summer. In school, he excelled in engines and drivetrains and wants to focus on developing those skills. Jasper will be looking for a technician role at an engine builder or machine shop in the Salina, KS area this Fall.

Joe Estevez

North Palm Beach State College

Joe landed a job at Baker Hill Industries in Coral Springs, FL, one of the top 10 Aerospace companies in the world. His high academic marks and passion for designing, engineering, and programming stood out to his employer, granting him the chance work full time alongside many experienced engineers, programmers, and machinists. “My favorite thing about the job is the difficulties we face on a daily basis with the complex parts that we design, engineer, and manufacture,” he said.

Joe hopes to gain great knowledge and experience in this role, which he would like to one day apply to his love for cars, running a shop of his own that specializes in hard to find, factory replica parts for classic cars.

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