Karina - College of Lake County
"My name is Karina Badillo, and I am currently nineteen years old. I attend the College of Lake County and take Automotive Collision Repair classes and welding classes with the hopes of a career in automotive restoration in the future. My career aspirations have been engraved in my mind since I was in fifth grade; growing up being a girl has always been synonymous with being weak and incompetent in the eyes of my male peers. It was from this that my drive and passion sprouted. I decided that I would be "the change I wanted to see in the world.
I strive to change how the world perceives women about cars. My end goal is to end gender stereotypes as a whole ultimately. I plan to build my own business that caters specifically to bringing women into the automotive industry.
The idea behind such an endeavor is to, in time, remove the fear and unsettling feeling that women have towards their cars and eliminate the negative aura that is present among women and cars. In turn, opening up the opportunity for more women to venture out and learn more about the automotive industry. As a result, more women may be interested in the field in the future, and in the grand scheme of things, gender roles and stereotypes will be a thing of the past. No doubt, my goals are ambitious and, at times, a little intimidating. That's why opportunities are so vital. Every opportunity provides a chance to learn new skills, develop better qualities, and increase perspectives. This is why receiving the Metallica scholarship was such an honor; there is a certain beautiful art in restoring life to a vintage car. Anyone who produces art knows that an element of vulnerability comes with creating for others. Sharing that in which one has worked hard to create with the world is no doubt nerve-wracking, for it is now subject to criticism that can attack who we are, our ideas, and our emotions. Basically, with every car I restore, I risk not being accepted or appreciated. And when you work so passionately towards your craft, it is easy to get discouraged now and again; and who better to understand that than musical artists themselves.
I can't express my gratitude enough. Receiving a scholarship is unbelievable but receiving a scholarship that The Metallica band me is a part of is awe-inspiring. Seeing that such successful people are not hesitant to give back to a seemingly overlooked part of society- the trades. This is absolutely uplifting and galvanizing. If I could say one thing to the band, thank you without a doubt. I am forever grateful for such a grand gesture, and I plan to pay it forward as best I can."