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Draper awarded scholarship for auto body work

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By The Staff

Heather Draper isn’t afraid to take on the boys. “They all got mad because I finished first in the class.” Draper, a senior at Grant County High School, said about the boys in her auto body class at Boone County vocational school.

Draper said she notices that auto body finishing is normally a male dominated field and it is more difficult for women to advance. “I have to work harder to prove myself.” Draper said. And, that’s just what she did.

Draper finished first place at the local skills USA competition, second place at the northeast regional skills USA competition and fifth place in auto body finishing at state.

Draper said her dad got her started in auto body finishing.

“I grew up around it all my life,” she said. “I started going to school for it last year.”

Draper attends classes at Boone County vocational school, receiving credit at Grant County High School. She said the thing she liked most about the school was meeting students from all different counties. Draper said everybody comes together and she’s glad that she’s been able to be apart of it.

Her best memory from the school is when they were told to build a soapbox derby car. Draper said it was fun to make and even more fun to test drive. She was able to test it in the parking lot, wearing a helmet and glasses, a comical reenactment of what the derby car would be used for.

Draper has been awarded a $4,000 scholarship to continue her education at the Ohio Technical College. She is politely declining however and wanting to further her education at Gateway College as a business major. Draper said she currently works for Wal-Mart and would like to move up there as she earns a degree.

Draper said even though she will not be continuing a career in the auto body business, she is happy she has been able to be apart of it in high school.

“It’s not exactly what I want to do with my life,” Draper said. “But I learned a lot from a lot of hard work.”