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February 26. 2014 4:36PM

Auto dealers group offers scholarship aid, funds to NH veterans programs

CONCORD — Maryann Cyr has served her country with distinction.

The Manchester soldier served in the U.S. Army and repaired and maintained tanks to ensure they were always combat-ready in case a crisis meant the military was called into action.

Now that she has returned home, the New Hampshire Auto Dealers Association is saying thank you, by investing in her future.

Cyr is the latest in a line of New Hampshire veterans who are taking advantage of scholarship aid from NHADA. She is using the funds to pay for automotive tech classes at Manchester Community College.

"We are grateful for the service of these outstanding young men and women," said Andy Crews, president and CEO of Autofair. "As a veteran, I know how important it is to support our troops, especially when their service to our nation is complete and they seek a new path on the home front."

For the past 15 years, NHADA has provided close to $250,000 in scholarships to students studying automotive technology within the Community College System of NH.

A growing number of these students are military veterans. Last fall, eight scholarships worth $11,000 were awarded by the NHADA's not-for-profit affiliate, the New Hampshire Automotive Education Foundation (NHAEF).

This winter, Cyr is one of four students to receive the funds and pursue a career in the automotive field.

New Hampshire Auto Dealers wants to remind veterans these funds are available, and they are encouraged to apply for scholarship aid.

"We consider it our mission to help veterans find meaningful career opportunities once their military service is complete," said Pete McNamara, president of NHADA. "These scholarships are available for anyone who applies, but Maryann Cyr reminds all of us how important it is to make sure our veterans know help is out there for them."

NHADA prioritizes assistance to New Hampshire veterans, including donations to various non-profit causes, such as Veterans Count Club.

Last fall, the association named VCC as a major beneficiary of the state's first ever New Hampshire Auto Show.

VCC's direct services and resources are available for veterans and their families. The association is also a member of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).

"These types of programs are essential to military families and New Hampshire Auto Dealers are proud to support them," McNamara said.

Veterans are encouraged to seek scholarship aid through current NHADA programs. The New Hampshire Automotive Education Foundation (NHAEF), in conjunction with the NHADA, offers scholarships for Granite Staters pursuing a career in automotive technology at one of four community colleges: Lakes Region Community College, Manchester Community College, Nashua Community College, or White Mountains Community College.

NHADA's Scholarship opportunities are outlined at: www.nhada.com/scholarships.


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