Aaron Wilson – from Work Ethic Scholarship Recipient to Automotive Technician
Like most kids in New Freedom, Pennsylvania, Aaron liked Legos, but not the simple colored bricks. No, he was drawn to the gears, axle-pins, and ball-joints of the technic sets. He loved anything mechanical. Mostly because he wanted to know how stuff worked. It’s no wonder that by the time he was 12 years old, he knew what he wanted to be when he grew up.
Aaron had an older cousin who was very much into trucks. The interest started with another toy – Hotwheels. He and his cousin loved to play with the small metal cars and imagine they were driving and servicing them. It was at this time that Aaron first started thinking of a career as a mechanic.
At 13 he bought an old, broken-down lawn mower at a yard sale – for five bucks. It had a Briggs & Stratton engine but it wouldn’t start. The ignition and breaker point systems were a mess. So Aaron started reading – a lot. Mechanical books mostly. He was determined. “More than anything else, I wanted to be able to fix it myself, so I wouldn’t be dependent on someone else to fix it for me.” Before long the mower was in working order and he was using it to make a little extra money.
At age 15 Aaron traded in his Hotwheels for a black 1987 Ford F-150. While the engine turned over, it wasn’t street legal, and Aaron was determined to get in shape to pass inspection. He had to repair the front axle, windshield wiper motor, and parking brake cable, as well as replace the differential, front bumper, rusted brake line, and the radiator support to do it. But it passed.
Aaron’s high school was the York County School of Technology, where he earned a place in the National Technical Honor Society for his 4.0 GPA and 100% attendance. As a junior he and his teammate placed 3rd in the 2013 Pennsylvania State Ford/AAA Auto Skills Competition. The next year they placed 2nd in the Pennsylvania Automotive Association competition.
On June 30, 2016 Aaron graduated from the Automotive Training Center in Exton, Pennsylvania. Today, he works as an Automotive Technician at Red Lion Chevrolet … But he still drives that black F-150.