HCC student receives scholarship from I-CAR Education Foundation

Eric Piper of Dakota, a Highland student studying Auto Body Repair, has been awarded a $5,000 PPG Foundation Scholarship from the I-CAR Education Foundation, which supports college collision repair programs through curriculum development, sales and philanthropic scholarships.

Piper was awarded the competitive scholarship given to a student enrolled in a college collision repair program and pursuing a career in some area of the collision industry.

This is the first time a Highland student has been awarded a scholarship of this nature, and HCC instructor Todd Vacek said, "Something like this helps get exposure for our program. It also lets prospective students know there is money out there available just for auto body students."

Piper said receiving the scholarship "is pretty awesome." He is a non-traditional student that came back to school to learn a skilled trade with high earning potential. He is completing an Associate of Applied Science degree in Auto Body Repair and expects to graduate in 2016.

"I want to get out into the industry and explore my avenues," Piper said. "I have discovered there are so many options in the auto body industry."

Eric Piper (center) is awarded a $5,000 scholarship from Titus Parker (right) of PPG Industries as Scott Anderson (left) and Todd Vacek pose as a group in the Auto Body Repair classroom at Highland.

Todd Vacek received an e-mail informing him that his student had been awarded the scholarship and was asked to video tape Piper's response. Piper was told to come to the classroom to do a test video. Completely unaware that he was about to receive the scholarship, Vacek said the look on Piper's face was "classic" when he was told of the award.

The Collision Repair Education Foundation's overall goal is to support the pre-employment segment of the collision industry. The Education Foundation's funding focus is on secondary and post-secondary career and technical school and college collision programs and their students.

For more information about Highland Auto Body Repair program, contact Dean of Business and Technology Scott Anderson at 815.599.3604 or

2998 W. Pearl City Road
Freeport, IL 61032-9341

Fax 815-235-6130

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