East Longmeadow, Mass. — For the third consecutive year since it’s introduction in 2013, the hilmor® Retool Your Future scholarship contest received more than 500 entries from students in nearly 200 trade schools across the U.S., and Canada. The six HVAC/R student winners from this year’s contest have each won a $5,000 scholarship, innovative hilmor tools, a trip to the AHR EXPO in Orlando and a Green Wall Merchandising Display for their school. After expanding the contest into Canada last year, the Retool Your Future program has its first Canadian winner in Soheil Khorasani.
Designed for current and future HVAC/R students in the U.S., and Canada, entrants could submit an essay of 250-words or less explaining how the HVAC/R industry will “retool their life”. Winners were selected by a panel of judges based on how their essay describes HVAC/R school helping them start a new life, preparing them for a career in the HVAC/R industry and their commitment to their education.
“Every year we receive an incredible amount of powerful submissions from these students hoping to change their future,” said Andrea Halpin, Senior Manager, Brand Marketing, hilmor. “Their dedication to their education and passion for reinventing themselves is humbling and we’re honored to help these students.”
David Harrington, 52, made the decision to retool his life at age 50 after seeing the benefits of a career that’s in-demand all year round. Having owned his own company, Harrington looks forward to applying the same business and personnel practices to his new career. He currently studies at South Piedmont Community College in Polkton, NC.
Cesar Iniguez, 24, spent his early childhood years in Mexico, working towards the day when he could return to his homeland and build a better life for his family. Iniguez is now studying at the Ferris State University, in Big Rapids, Mich., where he continues to prepare for his ambitious career in the HVAC/R industry.
Soheil Khorasani, 26, is the contest’s first-ever Canadian winner. Currently enrolled at Technical Institute of BC, Khorasani immigrated to Canada as a refugee in 1997 and has enjoyed his life there ever since. Having helped support his family since he was 17, Khorasani is excited to see how the HVAC/R industry will retool his life.
Dennis Knighten, 51, spent 28 years as a correctional officer after retiring from the U.S. Air Force. While he enjoyed helping those who truly wanted to change their lives, he found a more compatible balance for his interpersonal skills and problem solving within the HVAC/R industry. Knighten is currently enrolled at Locklin Tech in Milton, Florida.
Richard Sanders, 65, understands the value of education after having been a science teacher for 13 years. Now, as a maintenance engineer at a major resort hotel, he is already familiar with the HVAC/R industry, but realizes that in order to reach his full potential, he must focus on advancing through his own education. He now attends the Technical College of the Lowcountry in Beaufort, SC., where he anticipates his new skills not only brightening his future, but increasing his value as an HVAC/R technician.
Brian Schultz, 53, is not a traditional student. For 19 years he worked as a printer for one of the largest international print companies until he was faced with the choice of either uprooting his home and moving, or choosing a new career. After having completed his internship with a local HVAC/R company and continuing his education at the State Technical College of Missouri, Schultz is confident that he made the right decision for his future.