Alhambra High School Students Win State Auto Skills Competition

Local Martinez Students Take First Place in Statewide AAA/Ford Statewide Competition

Media Contact: Cynthia Harris

Emeryville, May 12, 2014

Best in state! A two-student team from Alhambra High School ROP from the city of Martinez overcame some stiff competition to take first place in the Northern California AAA/Ford Auto Skills Competition finals. The Alhambra High school team winners of today’s California competition beat Southern California students competing in a separate contest and received the highest score statewide. They will represent California in the national contest to be held June in Dearborn, Michigan.

Students Sanveer Garcha and Alfredo Gutierrez of the Northern California division of the statewide competition won first place, taught by instructor Brian Wheeler. Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek students Miles Millan and Sam Thomas-Saindon, taught by instructor Steve Boone, took second place. Students Cody Crafts and Erricson Stevens, taught by instructor Mitch Crowden, of Casa Robles High School in Orangevale, came in third. The top teams receive a total of $133,000 in scholarship opportunities from some of the nation’s top technical schools as well as a variety of other prizes from AAA.

“AAA values this program as a way to help position students to advance their education and become automotive technicians,” said Cynthia Harris, AAA Northern California spokesperson. “As the top auto technology students in Northern California, these students deserve the opportunity to become the best-trained professional automotive technicians and enjoy personally satisfying and well-compensated careers that are beneficial to the motoring public.”

The state championship was determined by a combination of results from a written qualifying exam and from the team's ability to quickly and accurately repair a deliberately disabled vehicle. Team scores were evaluated from a hands-on competition held at BlackHawk Auto Museum in the city of Danville. This event is designed to find the most talented young auto technicians in the United States.

The California contest was one of 50 state competitions being held during April and May. The Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competition will award more than $10 million in scholarships at the state and national level combined and is held to encourage students to pursue rewarding career opportunities in automotive service.

AAA Northern California offers a wide array of automotive, travel, insurance, DMV, financial services and consumer discounts to more than 4.1 million members. AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers since it was founded more than 114 years ago.

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