#WrenchingWomenWednesday with Katie French, featuring Summer Rastok

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Each week for Wrenching Women Wednesday, we focus our efforts on shining a light on Women in Automotive and their journey’s in automotive. This week, we would like to introduce Summer Rastok, Diesel Technician at Rush Truck Center in Denver, Colorado.

This is Summer’s story

My love of tools, engines, getting dirty, and fixing things started when I was about three years old. I “helped” my dad doing my first oil change on his Peterbilt. I always knew that I wanted to be a mechanic, but being a girl, I was always told, “that’s a man’s job” and “you’re too little, you would hurt yourself.”
I taught myself how to work on my own vehicles because I didn’t want to wait for someone else to get around to it or pay anyone else to do the job.

Fast forward twenty-five years or so, after several years of figuring out what I didn’t want to be when I grew up, I decided to ignore everyone that said I couldn’t do it, and I went after what I wanted.
At forty-three, I got a parts job at a trucking fleet, and after a couple months I told the shop foreman that I was bored to death, and I wanted to work on trucks. The next day, I was his new technician. That company wasn’t working for me, so I started looking for a new job and was hired by Rush. I started as a lube tech and within a year, I was the lead technician.

Now I’m the first woman to work in our medium-duty shop and at forty-seven years old, I replaced my first engine all on my own.

It’s never too late to go after what you want. I didn’t go to school, but I did get lucky enough to have an amazing mentor that knows what I’m capable of, and has more faith in me than I do. They push me hard every single day.

I want all those little girls out there to know that they can do anything the boys can- and honestly, we do it better!

About Katie French

Katie French is an Automotive Repair Expert at RepairPal. Her love for the automotive industry began at a young age learning how to fix bicycles and driving around the neighborhood in a pink Power Wheels Jeep. To pursue a career in the field, Katie attended NEIT for Advanced Automotive Technology out in East Greenwich, RI. Since graduating from the automotive program, Katie has worn many hats in the auto industry over the years, and has treated every day as a school day. She currently is working toward a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Management with a concentration in Fleet Management from Ranken Technical College in St. Louis, MO. In her free time, Katie enjoys empowering women in skilled trades, Jeep builds, and spending time with her family.

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