Kassidy Nixon of Lillington, a student in the Central Carolina Community College Automotive Restoration Program, has been named as a runner-up for the “Collision Student of the Year” award from the Collision Repair Education Foundation.
Nixon, who is a homeschooled student currently in 12th grade, is taking classes in CCCC’s Automotive Restoration diploma program and the Collision certificate program.
“She is hardworking, charismatic, aims for and achieves the highest standards in everything she does,” said CCCC Automotive Restoration Instructor Kiel Rhodes.
Nixon said she became interested in automotive work by working with her Dad. “Then I got into cars myself and started building my own 1984 K10 (Chevrolet) at the age of 15,” said Nixon.
Nixon got involved in the CCCC’s Automotive Restoration after attending an event showcasing the college’s Career & College Promise program during her sophomore year of high school. “At this event, my Mom and I were walking around and saw the sign on the door for the Automotive Restoration. I went in and got to meet my instructor Kiel, got some handouts, and knew from that moment that was what I wanted to go for.”
Rhodes notes that Nixon has set herself apart as a leader. “When I ask for a volunteer to perform a task, often others are silent but Kassidy always steps up, then the other students follow. Her charismatic positive example is often noticed by others,” said Rhodes.
“This past year at the 5th Annual Good Guys Rod and Custom show in Raleigh, N.C., we set up a booth representing our program. Kassidy volunteered to make the hour drive each day, work the booth and perform multiple metal working demonstrations. As a crowd would gather to observe the English Wheel demonstration, she would explain all the steps she was performing and answer any questions the audience had,” said Rhodes.
Nixon also helped organize and promote CCCC’s second annual Automotive Restoration car show, as well as worked with Rhodes to establish a student car club.
Nixon said her future plans are to graduate and then to find a shop. “By working in a shop, I would gain the experience needed to become an automotive instructor or open a shop of my own,” she said.
“With the qualities that I have personally witnessed Kassidy display, day in and day out, I am confident that she would excel and strive for the highest standard in everything she decides to do,” said Rhodes. “I count both myself and the industry as fortunate to have such a passionate, hardworking and skilled individual to join the workforce.”
In the CCCC Automotive Restoration program, students get extensive hands-on training in a variety of subjects such as metal and plastic body restoration, wood and steel component fabrication, automotive engines and drive train, painting and refinishing, automobile upholstery, electrical systems and welding.
Nixon said of the program: “It is a super welcoming environment, the instructors are awesome, and you learn so much.”
The Collision Repair Education Foundation, founded in 1991, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting collision repair educational programs, schools, and students to create qualified, entry-level employees and connect them with an array of career opportunities. To learn more about the organization, visit https://www.collisioneducationfoundation.org/.