MSCC student earns $10,000 Hino scholarship | Schools
Kitiara “Kit” Howell of Marion has been named a Hino Motors Manufacturing Scholarship recipient, and she will attend Mid-South Community College beginning this fall.
Kevin Ohneck, vice president and plant manager of the Hino facility in Marion, recognized Howell for her “outstanding technical achievements.”
“We couldn’t be happier that you are the recipient this year, and we’re very proud of your accomplishments. On behalf of our Hino Motors Manufacturing U.S.A., Inc. President Hideyuki Omata and the 340 team members of our Marion plant, we congratulate you,” Ohneck said.
Howell, a 2012 Marion High School graduate and 2011-2102 student in MSCC’s Technical Center program, expressed deep appreciation for the award.
“I am more than grateful,” she said. “I know this was probably a big leap since I’m only a first-year Technical Center student. When I was filling out the scholarship application, I read that second-year students receive priority, so I am so grateful that I was even considered.”
“When I first received the letter in the mail, I was so overjoyed, I almost started crying, and I don’t often cry. It has just made me very happy to receive such kindness from people who hadn’t really met me. It’s an honor to have been given something like this.”
MSCC President Dr. Glen Fenter praised Hino for sponsoring the scholarship and Howell for proving to be a worthy applicant.
“We’re very appreciative of the fact that Hino continues to offer this scholarship opportunity,” Dr. Fenter said. “It is a great expression of their commitment to the community and to young people who understand what a great opportunity these careers can provide.”
“From what I understand, this young lady is quite talented, and we expect her to make us proud and make cool stuff happen.”
Howell, a member of MSCC’s SkillsUSA competition team last spring, plans to focus on advanced manufacturing classes working toward her goal of becoming a biomedical engineer.
“My favorite subject growing up was science, and because of some health situations in my family, I’m very interested in the biomedical field,” she explained.
A native of Mayfield, KY, Howell participated in home schooling until her freshman year when she enrolled at MHS.
“I have diverse training,” she said. “I was home schooled first by my grandmother, then by my mother, and then by my dad. All of them taught me different levels and different aspects of different fields. I loved to play with things, so they planned field trips where I could get my hands dirty and actually do some of the work that would be required later on in my desired field.”
Howell said she hopes to continue her education in Arkansas after earning a degree at MSCC and eventually wants to study at Oxford.
The Hino Motors Manufacturing USA assistance program provides awards valued at up to $10,000 over a student’s four years of post-secondary education. Recipients must be enrolled (initially) at an Arkansas Delta Training & Education Consortium (ADTEC) college and must pursue an associate of applied science degree in Advanced Manufacturing or related field. The scholarship can later be applied to courses leading to a bachelor’s degree in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics major.
Ohneck said Hino established the scholarship by following the vision of its past president, Mr. Yasuo Tanigawa.
“Mr. Tanigawa established the scholarships with the hope to further the development of manufacturing in our area,” he said. “He strongly believes in education, and he believes it should be a lifelong endeavor.”
Scholarships are awarded to the top applicants graduating from high schools in the 12-county ADTEC region. Preferential consideration is given to students graduating with a certificate of proficiency in advanced manufacturing technology or related manufacturing certificate as a result of their enrollment in a Secondary Area Technical Center program.
Award recipients are interviewed and selected by a regional panel of business, community, and college representatives.
Scholarship recipients may also be offered the opportunity to work as paid summer interns at the Hino facility in Marion. The internship is optional to the recipient and subject to the approval of Hino Motors Manufacturing. John Fulks of Gosnell, a 2010 scholarship recipient, is working as an intern at Hino this year.
Hino Motors, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a member of the Toyota group and employs approximately 25,000 team members worldwide. The company established its first U.S. facility in 2003 and expanded into Arkansas in 2006. The Marion facility produces complete rear axle assemblies and rear suspension components for Toyota vehicles.
“At Hino, we thrive on teamwork, continuous improvement, and respect for all people,” Ohneck said. “Teamwork is an important part of our culture and is integrated into our business relationships and practices. By working as a team, within the company and within our community, we can work smarter, continuously improving upon our operations.”
Students interested in the Hino Motors Manufacturing Scholarship should contact their local community college for information. In addition to MSCC, Arkansas Northeastern College, Arkansas State University-Newport, East Arkansas Community College, and Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas are participating in the program.
Information provided by MSCC.