Michael McCrain mrWF Work Ethic Scholarship Recipient – Future Auto Shop Owner
Michael McCrain just plain loves cars. It started when he was 7 years old. Many hours were spent sitting in his grandfather’s driveway watching Pop-Pop and his Uncle Jamie work on cars. They would fix their own cars, friends’ cars, and neighbors’ cars. Mike would watch, ask questions, and sometimes help – mostly by handing a wrench or holding lug nuts.
About this same time Mike went to his first car show. The classic muscle cars really caught his eye – The ‘69 Camaro, the ’70 Chevelle, and the ’73 Corvette Stingray. “Seeing all the different kinds of cars, seeing how they sound, how they work. It was awesome!” Mike knew he wanted to own at least one of these amazing machines, which led him to a very interesting conclusion, “I realized, if I wanted to own a car, I better be able to fix it.”
That was the beginning of the path Mike is currently on. In his junior year at Westlake High School Mike started attending BOCES after his traditional classes. BOCES is New York State’s Boards Of Cooperative Educational Services. Started in 1948 as a temporary way for smaller, rural school districts to pool resources, BOCES has flourished into a permanent part of the New York school system. Mike studied Automotive Technology at BOCES, and he excelled.
The summer before senior year, Mike started an internship at Curry Chevrolet in Scarsdale, NY. He helped automotive technicians perform oil changes and tire rotations. He watched the techs electronically check diagnostics, and he learned. He did this all summer, and when it came time to go back to school, they offered him a job – not full-time – just Saturdays. Mike said yes, and worked every Saturday his senior year.
Next he was off to Morrisville State College, about a 4-hour drive from his hometown of Thornwood, NY. “I started to learn it, then I started to like it and now I’m going to college for it.”
As we all know, college can be expensive, so Mike applied for several scholarships. In addition to his mikeroweWORKS work ethic scholarship, Mike also got financial assistance from Garage Gurus Federal-Mogul Motorparts, a Morrisville Mustang Award, and two memorial scholarships from his high school. He plans to graduate in 2019 with a BBA in Auto Technology and Business Management.
Mike is studying Business Management because he and Uncle Jamie intend to open their own automotive shop one day. Jamie has worked for Mazda for nearly 30 years and likes the idea of he and Mike hanging their own shingle.
On weekends, Mike still makes the 4-hour drive home. In his spare time he likes to fish, play baseball and attend car shows. Nowadays, instead of just observing, he shows a car of his own. Not the Subaru he uses to commute to college, but the ’73 Corvette Stingray he and his dad rebuilt together. When asked who actually owns the car Mike said, “We call it 50/50, but we still fight over it sometimes.”