The strongest emotion I felt was surprised. I didn’t think out of all the students here, I’d be the one to get picked.

– Jesse Scott | Winner of $1500 Scholarship


Fall classes are just around the corner, and Jesse Scott is heading into his fifth semester as an Automotive Technology student at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne after receiving a huge shock this summer.

On July 8, the Old Fort Mustanger’s club held its 40th annual Mustang and Ford Show at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s Coliseum Campus. Some early morning rain didn’t stop people from all over to come out and see the dozens of Mustangs and Ford-powered vehicles. Each person pays $2 to get into the show, but larger donations are accepted, and all proceeds fund a scholarship for an Automotive Technology student. This year, the $1500 scholarship went to Scott.

“The show brings in some great looking cars,” says John Baltes, founder of the club. “But I think the neatest thing is that it helps bring the community together because we are doing something to help a student out.”

When the show moved to Ivy Tech, the first thing members decided to do was offer a scholarship with the proceeds they receive. Baltes says that it not only helps a passionate student afford an education, but the entire region benefits from gaining another mechanic.

When you speak to Scott, his enthusiasm for the industry is apparent. It all started as he worked with his dad in his autobody shop.

“Being in my dad’s shop growing up and seeing everything you could do swayed me towards the automotive field,” says Scott. “I love making and fixing things with my hands—it brings me joy. Being able to do that with cars is the perfect career for me.”

Automotive Technology faculty at Ivy Tech decide on who gets the scholarship. They say the competition this year was tight, but they do believe Scott deserved the award.

“Jesse is an incredibly dedicated and talented student, always ready to fix up a car,” says Bob Huffman, Program Chair of Automotive Technology. “I know he’s going to succeed and be a superstar in automotive repair.”

With a little less debt to worry about, Scott is excited to continue his education in the fall. He says he’s really enjoyed Ivy Tech so far because there’s a diverse array of cars and tools students get to work with.

“I’ve learned so much,” Scott says. “I didn’t start getting into cars until about three or four years ago. From then to now, I’ve learned astronomic values of information. Especially since coming to Ivy Tech, I’ve gotten so many opportunities to do things I normally wouldn’t be able to do on my own.”

Scott is getting closer to graduating, and he’s hoping to be working in an autobody shop or a Chevrolet dealership by the time he does. In the meantime, he’s going to continue helping his dad in his shop and on their farm while also working on his personal project car, a 1996 Pontiac Firebird.

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.