Bethany Gray was introduced to the auto industry at a young age, with many members of her family working at her grandfather’s dealership.
Gray worked at the Winnfield, La., dealership P.K. Smith Motors around her busy school schedule and extracurricular activities, whetting her appetite to join the business.
“I love it. It’s always been something my grandfather and I have bonded over,” Gray said. “I want to one day carry the legacy on.”
Gray is on the way to making that a reality, finishing her first year at Louisiana Tech. The 2023 NIADA Region III scholarship winner is studying supply chain management.
“I switched majors to supply chain management, which I will use in the car industry,” Gray said.
Gray received one of the four $2,500 scholarships from the NIADA Foundation awarded to deserving students from each of the association’s four regions. The recipients also included Region I’s Carter Daly, Uniontown, Ohio; Region II’s Grayden Phillips,Lexington, Ky.; and Region IV’s Micah Duke, Poway, Calif.
“[The scholarship] has helped a lot. You don’t realize all the fees and expenses until you come to college,” Gray said.
Applications are now being accepted for the 2024 scholarship. The scholarship winners will be acknowledged in June at the NIADA Convention and Expo in Las Vegas.
The NIADA Foundation invites high school seniors to complete an application found on our website at niada.com/foundation. Applications must be postmarked no later than March 12, 2024, and received no later than March 26, 2024.
The selection of the four recipients representing each of NIADA’s four regions is made by the Scholarship Selection Committee within NIADA and Northwood University.
The association’s scholarship program dates back to 1999 and was the responsibility of the NIADA’s Auxiliary. In 2006, the association established the NIADA Foundation, recognized by the IRS as a public charity. In the past 15 years, the Foundation has awarded $376,500 in college scholarships to help young people continue their education in the automotive industry.
The Foundation also spearheads NIADA’s charitable efforts nationwide, donating to organizations that support, among other causes, veterans and their families, youth development and cancer research. The Foundation also established an emergency relief fund to provide a venue for NIADA to assist fellow dealers and others in the automotive community devastated by natural disasters.
Membership dues alone could not support all of the Foundation’s charitable needs. At the annual convention and expo, NIADA holds a live car auction, with all proceeds benefiting the NIADA Foundation. In the past 10 years, the auctions at the NIADA Convention and Expo have raised $252,000 for the Foundation.
If you would like to donate to the NIADA Foundation, contributions may be mailed to 4621 South Cooper Street, Suite 131-524, Arlington, Texas, 76017. The NIADA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization.