Devon-Resident Overcomes Odds & Pursues Her Automotive Dream
- Student: Cherrelle Bobo
- School: Universal Technical Institute in Exton
21-year-old Cherrelle Bobo, although a typical “girly-girl”, always loved working on cars with her older brother. Her dream was to attend Universal Technical Institute (NYSE: UTI), the leading provider of post-secondary education for students seeking careers as professional automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine technicians. But her parents thought differently. “You’ll never survive,” they said – urging her to take the traditional path of a four-year college. And to meet their expectations, Cherrelle spent two years in college pursuing an education degree.
But Cherrelle knew that path was not for her. In July 2011, she decided to speak to an admissions representative at UTI’s Exton campus, who immediately recognized her passion and encouraged her to apply. Despite the lack of support from those around her, Cherrelle worked with UTI-Exton’s financial aid office to apply for a scholarship, which she was ultimately awarded. She also found jobs as a Resident Assistant at a local housing complex and a peer tutor at UTI to help cover the additional cost of tuition and housing. With this determination, Cherrelle began classes last August and has never looked back.
Now, Cherrelle is serving as Student Council President - the first female President on Exton's campus! - and is looking forward to graduating in August and receiving her diploma, as well as an honorary diploma for her late brother. Upon graduation, she’ll be moving to Arizona to begin a highly-competitive program with Volvo that requires applicants to maintain a 3.5 GPA and 97.5% attendance, among other qualifications. Her goals include returning to the Philadelphia market, completing her education degree, and starting an automotive program for students with special needs – a personal issue for Cherrelle, as she herself suffers from a learning disability.
Despite being a constant underdog – from her petite 5’2 frame to being part of the small female student population at UTI – Cherrelle has come out on top. “I appreciate UTI; the staff provide a welcoming and encouraging environment for students,” – a support she needed to fulfill her dream.