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Wrenching Women Wednesday with Katie French, featuring Ami Strange

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 Ami Strange, Texas State Technical College Automotive Student.

This is Ami's story

I’m currently in the process of being hired at TSTC’s Automotive department as a student assistant. I’m enrolled in their Automotive Technology Program which is a 2-year Associate's Degree program. It includes my SP2 certification, AllData certification, 25 Ford online training certifications, and I’m soon to be a Level 0 Technician in the Mopar CAP program. I’m a former foreign car technician, classic vehicle restoration specialist, and classic vehicle parts acquisition specialist.

As a young girl, I fell in love with classic cars- everything about them. I wanted posters, model cars, and anything car-related. When I was 13 or 14, I helped my brother restore his 1960 Chevy Apache after school and on weekends. I just fell in love immediately. I knew it was my passion, but didn’t pursue it as a career until later in life.

As a project, I ended up rebuilding a 1963 Ford Falcon my dad gave me and it was then I started to pursue it as a career. I worked as a restoration specialist and parts acquisition specialist at the same time, while working around kids' school schedules. I was VP of an all-girls classic car club. When the restoration shop closed, I was given the opportunity to work with foreign vehicles. (I worked on them, but I didn’t love them.) I met my (now) husband and adopted 3-more kids. I then ended up enrolling into the automotive program at TSTC where my husband actually works as an instructor.

I want to get my Associate’s Degree so I can eventually become an automotive instructor as well. I have carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands and despite the pain, I love turning wrenches and doing what I love.

My advice to a young woman wanting to pursue a career in the industry, I would say just go for it! Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot do it. Don’t put your dreams on hold for anyone. If you do a job that you love, you’ll never work a day in your life!

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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