The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Motivated by working automotive technology

As a 5-year-old boy, his pudgy, small fingers moved at the speed of light as he tinkered away with impressive concentration on an engine part his father had given him to play with.

What started out as a favorite pastime activity for John Awadalla became his passion as an adult.

He wants a future as an automotive technician.

“I like working on cars; I’m pretty good at it,” Awadalla said.

“My dad’s head of a car business and was the first one to introduce me to it, so I’ve been fixing cars since I was a child,” he said.

Awadalla said he would still need to learn more about cars before he can make his dreams come true.

His dream is to one day open up his own car shop or to work at a car dealership.

“I just know basic things about cars right now. I’m not a professional yet,” Awadalla said.

By taking the automotive technology vocational program, which teaches more advanced specialization on repairing cars, he will be prepared for the Automotive Service Excellence exam.

“It’s a test to see how proficient you are in different areas of repairing a car,” Awadalla said.

“You don’t have to have an ASE certificate, but it looks good on your resume if you have an ASE when competing with other people to get a job,” he said.

By obtaining an ASE certificate, Awadalla said he hopes the achievement will further improve his skills in automotive technology.

“I want to be more proficient at what I do,” Awadalla said.

“Right now, I’m in engine rebuilding; I’m learning how to rebuild engines with new parts,” he said

Awadalla said he didn’t always know what he wanted to do with his life.

He previously took only general education courses at Harbor College because he had not decided on a major.

It was his friend’s advice that eventually led him to realize he wanted to be a technician.

“A friend of mine came over to my house and asked me what my major was,” Awadalla said.

“I told him I was undecided; that I did not know what I wanted to be,” he said.

Awadalla said his friend advised him to write down 20 things he liked to do, and by doing this, he discovered how much he enjoyed playing with cars.

Automotive technology is a very important field in California, Awadalla said.

“California is filled with cars,” he said.

He said he believes that there should be many people available to fix all of the cars in the state.

Awadalla has heard of situations where colleges had to close vocational programs, including the automotive technology programs.

He personally thinks that cutting vocational education would have a negative effect on the college.

“Before, I took general education classes and I was like, ‘Whatever, I don’t want to come to school,'” Awadalla said.

“But with vocational programs teaching only the specific fields you want to get into,” he said.

“It makes you want to come to school to learn.”

Awadalla says he doesn’t think it would be a wise decision on the school’s part if they actually get rid of vocational programs because fewer students would come to school.

“I think that about fifty percent of the students who come here, come for the vocational programs,” Awadalla said. “Most come here for a degree in something.”

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