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Scholarship helps Nathan Major with college, life goals

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Recent Athens Technical College graduate and now adjunct instructor Nathan Major has set his sights on starting his own automotive service business, and his studies at Athens Technical College's diesel technology program have helped prepare him to fulfill that dream.

"I'd like to open my own automotive shop one day," said the 25-year-old Major, an Arnoldsville resident who completed his studies at the state-of-the-art Diesel Equipment Technology lab on the college's Elbert County campus and began as an adjunct diesel instructor fall semester (2012). "That's my goal."

Major was one of the first 12 students to enroll in Athens Technical College's Diesel Equipment Technology program that the college started in January of 2011. He finished technical certificates of credit in Diesel Engine Service Technician and Diesel Electrical Systems Technician in December 2011. Major was awarded his diploma in Diesel Equipment Technology and his associate degree in science in August, 2012.

During his time in college, Major found a job working with Heyward Allen Motor Co.'s service shop.

Diesel Equipment Technology Program Chair Charles Dawson described Major as a superior student who exhibits a great work ethic. Those characteristics, combined with Major's membership in the Alpha Beta Gamma International Business Honor Society and his involvement as a member of the advisory committee for the college's Diesel Equipment Technology earned Major a scholarship from Grainger Industrial Supply, a big supporter of the college, Dawson said.

Grainger awarded Major and Johnny Canazon, another Athens Technical College student each a scholarship that included a $2,000 monetary gift and a custom set of tools.

Major graduated from Athens Christian School in 2006 and has been studying at Athens Technical College a little more than four years. He wanted to take the diesel courses to round out his automotive knowledge, he said.

I want to be (accomplished) in all automotive fields," Major said. "I figured diesel technology would be another step."

Major has taken and passed the Automotive Service Excellence exam and the EPA's environmental refrigeration recycling test, so he will be a highly marketable job seeker in the automotive service industry.

He also runs his own lawn cutting business and manages some rental properties.

On the educational front he hopes to continue studying through online courses to earn a bachelor's degree in technical science.