AMF Awards Four Scholarships
John Fiorino | Published on 3/12/2023
1st Antique Motorcycle Foundation
My name is John Fiorino and I am the Treasurer and Chairman of the Scholarship & Grants committee of the Antique Motorcycle Foundation. The AMF Scholarship & Grants committee made up of myself, Bill Murar, Roger Smith, and Denise Rich-Gross have been working on a program to encourage and support a new generation of students to pursue/continue an education in motorcycle repair/restoration. To accomplish this, the AMF wanted to offer scholarships to qualified students in community colleges with motorcycle repair/restoration certificate/degree programs. We began this process in early 2020 with the intent to offer scholarships to worthy students in 2021. We contacted 10 institutions with motorcycle repair/restoration programs but unfortunately, like many other endeavors, when Covid hit many things came to a standstill with schools suspending classes. As the cases of Covid reduced and the restrictions were lifted, the committee once again jumped into action and reestablished relationships with various institutions. But the landscape had changed somewhat. Some schools reduced their programs, and one decided to end their program completely. In addition, the committee never anticipated the hurdles we would have to jump through to give scholarships to the students directly. Many institutions had their own foundations and wanted the AMF to donate to those foundations. After many discussions we found one institution Central Carolina Community College that was interested in what we wanted to do and removed any administrative barriers to make it happen.
Central Carolina Community College located in Sanford, North Carolina was established in 1961. The college is located on 104 acres, and has 237,000 square feet of classroom, shop, laboratory, and library space. Their student population consists of approximately 15,000, with 1,500 students in the Applied Technologies program. Drew Goodson is the Dean of Business and Applied Technologies, of which the Motorcycle Mechanics Certificate and Diploma programs are included.
(Left to Right) Stacey Sult, Michael Regenhardt, John Fiorino AMF Treasurer, Robert Clayton, Sierra Rathbun.
I spent considerable time discussing the AMF Scholarship program with Craig Ciliberto the Department Chair of Transportation Technology. As Chair of Transportation Technology Craig is responsible for the Automotive, Motorcycle, Restoration, and Collision programs. Craig has been very supportive of our desire to provide scholarships for the students in the Motorcycle Mechanics program. Craig is also a motorcycle enthusiast and has owned a few motorcycles in the past, the last one a 1998 Kawasaki 600.
I also spent time discussing the AMF program with Jason Rouse the Lead Instructor of the Motorcycle Mechanics program. Jason graduated from the Motorcycle Mechanics program in 2002. He spent 22 years in the motorcycle repair field repairing Yamaha, BMW, and Ducati bikes. In 2019 Jason decided to return to Central Carolina Community College and pass his knowledge and skill onto the future generation of motorcycle mechanics. Jason is currently working on a 1996 BMW 1100 RT.
This collaboration between the AMF and CCCC lead to 6 students submitting applications for the AMF Scholarship Program. After discussions with the Motorcycle Mechanics staff, the AMF Scholarship Committee selected four students to receive our inaugural scholarships based on the course of study of motorcycle repair/restoration, the desire for higher education, and need. I was selected by Roger Smith AMF President to travel to North Carolina and present the winning students their scholarship checks. In alphabetical order congratulations to the 2022 winners of AMF Scholarships.
Robert is in his second year of study. He is a 20 year veteran of the Army where he was an Aircraft Mechanic. In his spare time in the Army, he read and studied motorcycles. When he retired from the Army, he enrolled in the CCCC Motorcycle Mechanics program. Robert currently works at a Harley Davidson dealership in the parts department. When he graduates Robert plans to start his own business repairing and restoring older motorcycles. Robert currently owns a 2013 Harley Davidson Ultra Limited. His expected graduation date is August 2023.
Sierra is also in her first year of study. She enrolled in the Motorcycle Mechanics program knowing nothing about motorcycles, tools, or mechanics. Sierra says she has already learned so much from her experiences in the program. Turns out Sierra is mechanically inclined and enjoys the challenge repairing engines, diagnosing problems, and even doing simple oil changes. Sierra now realizes that a career in the industry is exactly the right future for her. She can’t wait to be able to afford to buy her own motorcycle.
Stacey is also a freshman in the program. She also is an Army veteran where she was in the Military Police Corp. Stacey says the reason she began her journey on the road to becoming a motorcycle mechanic was due to her own issues with getting her 2002 Harley-Davidson Sportster serviced. Finding the CCCC Motorcycle Mechanics program was her chance to evolve and gain her long awaited knowledge of motorcycle mechanics. Not only does Stacey want to repair her own bike, but she wants to find older bikes and restore them to their former glory. Stacey feels that by restoring and conserving older bikes we can look back and respect how we have progressed. Her expected graduation date is August 2023.
Michael grew up with a passion for motorcycles. He grew up racing dirt bikes from the age of three to his mid-teens. In his early twenties Michael became interested in Harley Davidson motorcycles, something about the sound of an American made twin cam. As an adult Michael joined the Fire and Emergency Services and became a fully certified Firefighter/Rescue Tech/EMT. His dream is to do a ground up restoration of a 1990 Harley Davidson FXR, but make it more performance based. Motorcycles are a release for Michael from everyday life and helps him clear his head and keep pushing forward.
Once again, congratulations to Robert, Sierra, Stacey, and Michael!
It is the intention of the AMF to make the scholarship program an on-going program. However, to continue this program, it will require additional funding. This is where our supporters can help us through your continued donations. You can do this in three ways, going to the AMF website (AMF.Foundation) and go to the “Giving” tab where you can donate on-line, or by mailing in the form with your donation. The third way is by donating upon renewing your membership in the Antique Motorcycle Club of America (AMCA). Currently, members can donate when they use the “Existing Members Renew” button under the “Join Here” tab on the AMCA website. If you have any questions contact John Fiorino at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photographs by R.V. Hight, Director of Communications