A San Diego-area student is starting the New Year with considerably less financial stress. Brendan Cotter, a student at Universal Technical Institute in Rancho Cucamonga, is one of two nationwide recipients of the Roger Penske Outstanding Student Award as selected by the Universal Technical Institute Foundation.
The $12,000 scholarship is awarded twice a year to two top students who meet certain criteria, including exceptional attendance, instructor endorsements, volunteerism and outstanding academic performance. Brian Hay, a student at NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, N.C., is the other recipient of the award.
“Words can’t even describe it,” Cotter, 34, said. “I don’t know what to say. I’m blown away. I feel very fortunate.”
Cotter, a new father and former high school teacher, would have had to apply for loans or pay cash for the remainder of his diesel program education at UTI had it not been for the handsome scholarship.
Even with the birth of his first child, Cotter achieved 100 percent attendance, a 4.0 GPA and was named Student of Course 15 times. Finalists for the award need to display high academic achievement, have a record as a team player and supporter of his/her fellow students and at least one Student of Course honor.
“Brendan Cotter is such a deserving recipient of the Penske scholarship,” Veronica Meury, the UTI Foundation’s vice president and executive director, said. “He truly exemplifies the type of outstanding students the award was designed to recognize.”
The Roger Penske Outstanding Student Award is presented twice a year. In addition to the two $12,000 scholarships, the other 10 campus finalists are each given a $500 cash award.