Hawai‘i Community College and representatives from Hawthorne Caterpillar celebrated the company’s continued support for the Hawai‘i CC Diesel Mechanics program during a check signing ceremony on Tuesday, May 3, 2016.
The company donated $6,875 to support student scholarships at Hawai‘i CC this year, and has supported Diesel Mechanics student scholarships for the past 10 years.
“On behalf of the students, faculty, and administration of the Hawai‘i Community College Diesel Mechanics program, we would like to express our deepest gratitude and appreciation for the generosity and support for the past decade,” said Hawai‘i CC Diesel Mechanics Instructor Mitchell Soares. “The Hawthorne Caterpillar Scholarship has supported many students’ financial needs throughout the years and has improved the Diesel Mechanics methodology training materials.”
New Internship Program
The check signing ceremony was also an opportunity to celebrate a new internship program that began last year.
Brad Tsugawa, a second-year student in the Diesel Mechanics program, has been a paid intern at Hawthorne Caterpillar in Hilo since last summer. The internship has been a valuable learning experience, he said.
“It’s a lot of hard work but you also learn a lot of different ways of doing things there,” Tsugawa said. “It teaches you to work on your own sometimes and also to work with others and work with customers.
Soares described the internship program as “another avenue provided to us by Hawthorne Caterpillar in supporting student success in our community.”
The internship is proving to be more than just a temporary learning opportunity for Tsugawa. When his year-long internship ends, Tsugawa will work full time in a permanent position with Hawthorne Caterpillar in Hilo.
Prior to enrolling at Hawai‘i CC, Tsugawa fixed cars as a hobby while working in the restaurant industry.
“I decided to stick with what I know and go for it, and I’m actually making a career out if it now rather than doing things for free for friends,” said Tsugawa.