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Zachary WaggonerZachary Waggoner (KCKCC photo)
Zachary Waggoner has always had a brain for mathematics as well as a desire to work with his hands.
So for the student at Kansas City Kansas Community College’s Dr. Thomas R. Burke Technical Education Center, machine technology was a logical course of study.
But what recently made this first semester KCKCC-TEC student so excited was the news that he is the recipient of a $1,500 Ivan and Holder Memorial Scholarship from the Kansas City Chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Association.
“I was shocked. Still am,” he said of the news. “Especially since I am the first student from KCKCC to receive this (scholarship). It is the first time ever that I was first for something in my life.”
The NTMA provides resources to member businesses on a local and national level. The Kansas City chapter of NTMA currently has 40 full members (manufacturing companies) as well as 20 associate members.
One of the initiatives of the KC NTMA is the Ivan and Holder Memorial Scholarship, which was created to support students who are advancing their education and pursuing careers in manufacturing. Applicants who are chosen receive a minimum award of $500 for either the fall or spring semester.
“I felt exhilarated when I heard he had been chosen,” said Paul Hancock, employment coordinator at TEC. “I am very proud of his drive and ambition to pursue this scholarship. He has an excellent rapport here at the school and credibility with his instructor.”
Scholarship applicants must be between 17 and 40 years old; have a high school diploma or GED; earned a grade point average of at least 2.5; be nominated by an NTMA member company in good standing or an accredited education partner; provide one letter of recommendation from a business professional; complete a scholarship application and be a full-time manufacturing technology student at KCKCC-TEC or the MCC-Business and Technology Center in Kansas City.
“This is a good program. Very hands-on, and you can apply concepts like math very well,” Waggoner said. “I have learned a lot and am always busy working.”
Waggoner, who will complete the KCKCC-TEC program in summer 2014, has aspirations of one day working in the aerospace industry. He said he would ultimately like to work on airplanes or helicopters.
“It is something that I have always found fascinating,” he said. “But really, I can take what I learn here and work in almost any industry. I have a lot of options available to me.”