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Whether you have a background working on cars, trucks, or anything with an engine or you simply just have a deep interest in the many forms of transportation, this scholarship was created with you in mind.  From auto-body specialists for local repair shops to SEO Analysts for auto parts retailers, to Industrial Designers and Engineers for auto manufacturers, there is sure to be a promising future for anyone in the multi-billion dollar automotive industry.


Get started on the path to success with this $500 scholarship from Seven Mile Ridez.  The requirements are simple;

  • U.S. Citizenship and current Nebraska resident

  • Incoming college freshmen or current high school senior pursuing enrollment in a college, university, or post-secondary career and technology school in the U.S.

  • Show a passion for automotive in pursuit of a degree or certification.  All fields welcome.

  • Complete the application form

    • Please include a short essay answer to the following two questions:​

      1.  Why do you wish to pursue a career in the automotive industry?

      2.  What do you feel you can contribute to the industry?​


This scholarship was established to honor Mitchell’s dreams and to help other young enthusiasts reach their dreams and goals within the automotive industry.


Thank you to everyone who applied for the 2024 scholarship!

Applications for the next scholarship will reopen January 2025.


2024 Recipients - Miranda Vanek & Drew Bailey

Seven Mile Ridez is once again, proud to announce that we are awarding two scholarships for 2024!

Miranda Vanek of Wahoo High School is planning to attend Northeast Community College for Auto Body Repair Technology.

Drew Bailey of Nebraska Christian High School will be attending Southeast Community College with a focus in Automotive Technology.

Congratulations Miranda and Drew!!

2022 Recipients - Rylan Olson & Elizabeth Rohrer

Rylan is pursuing to study Auto Body Technology while attending Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Nebraska.  He is excited to further his experience in PDR (Painless Dent Removal) as well as the Auto Mechanics and Welding programs respectively.

Rylan is no stranger to the industry as his family’s own repair business and their experience in mechanics helped him form his own interest in the field while learning to paint vehicles, tractors, equipment, grain bins, and more.  Along with this, Rylan has already had internship experience at a local auto body shop and has recently been taking dual credit classis at NCC to get a head start on his college career.

“I take great pride in my work and restoring pieces back to how they once were.”


At age 4, Rylan was diagnosed with autism.  Rylan credits his parents in getting him involved in multiple activities to assist in developing his socialization, as a tremendous help.  In high school Rylan has been active in FFA, track, cross country, football, wrestling, speech, and band.  Additionally, he was inducted into the National Honor Society his junior year and has lettered in all sports that he has participated in!


“Being involved in sports has helped me be more confident in myself and encourage others to push themselves harder.”


Rylan’s involvement in his community is just as impressive as his extra-circular resume.  Currently, Rylan is a member of the Sturdevant-McKee Museum Board, the Sons of the American Legion, and the St Joseph Catholic Church where he enjoys helping with community events and activities along with attending CYM classes.  He also ran for Hay Days King in 2021 where he was crowned Prince!


Rylan’s enjoyment for helping his community comes as no surprise as both his father; a US Army veteran, along with his mother; now retired law enforcement officer, encouraged involvement from early on.  In addition to his active schedule, Rylan assists customers at the local food center and works with his brothers during the summer for their own lawn mowing business.


“I try not to let my autism get the best of me.  I don’t see it as a disability, but something that I have had to learn to conquer.”


Rylan’s confidence in this comprehensive background along with his hard-working mindset will allow him to be successful in the industry.  Eventually, he hopes to start his own hometown business where he can specialize in painting and refinishing for all types of automotive and agricultural equipment.


“I enjoy growing up in Atkinson and serving my community.”


- Rylan O.



A recent Norris High graduate, Elizabeth is pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering while attending Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.  She is looking forward to a successful future in the automotive racing industry and an ultimate goal to work with Formula One cars.


From a young age, Elizabeth’s interest in motorsports along with science were made apparent.  From watching PBS documentaries to the animated film Cars, her first encounters with racing and different sciences grew quickly to a strong passion for STEM and high-performance automotive engines.


“Weekly NOVA and Nature documentaries exposed me to the different sciences while Cars gave me my first glimpse at the amazing world of racing.”


Elizabeth’s excitement for a career in the automotive industry is fueled by her enjoyment for the challenge motorsports presents.  Along with a motivation to win she is determined to work her hardest for an extremely rewarding experience.  Her fascination with the interactions seen daily between numbers and technology through math, physics, and science give her an optimistic future for relating them to actual on-track improvement and tackling the challenges that come with.  She is confident that the art of “racing the rule book” will allow her to harness her creativity and knowledge of STEM to create the fastest and most efficient car.


“The history of Formula 1 is rich with innovation that I hope to contribute to, to create the fastest car of tomorrow.”


With career goals rooted in the car racing industry, Elizabeth aspires to become an engine performance engineer.  Working for a Formula One team, she hopes to maximize power efficiencies while working alongside other engineers to eliminate issues affecting performance and analyze data from tests and races to find deficiencies and opportunities for improvements. 

Elizabeth is confident that her passion for engineering and competitive spirit will lead her to the pit walls of IndyCar as well as the garages of great Formula One teams.  Her dream doesn’t stop there, as she also hopes to inspire others to do the same along the way.


“I want to provide new perspectives in engineering and the automotive field and become a role model for young women like me interested in engineering and motorsports.”


- Elizabeth R.


2021 Recipients - Jacob Sousek & John Paul Jansen

Jacob Sousek of North Bend Central High School and John Paul Jansen of Daniel J Gross High School in Bellevue, Nebraska! 



Jacob is pursuing to study Ag Diesel Technology while attending Southeast Community College in Milford, Nebraska.  Jacob is looking forward to utilizing his experience and love for agriculture to pursue a career that he thoroughly enjoys, while making a difference in the industry.

Jacob credits his interest in ag to a curious childhood growing up on a farm and experiencing it all firsthand each day.  Learning how to fix engines and equipment properly was knowledge and experience he gained on the family farm and also through his employment at Platte Valley Equipment. 

“My parents would always find me tearing something apart when I was a young kid and my excuse would always be that I was ‘fixing’ it.”

These regular interactions with the equipment and the industry has only but increased his love for agriculture.  Additionally, it has confirmed his lifelong passion for a career path in the industry.

Jacob trusts that his focus and hardworking characteristics will guide him to a successful career while contributing key values to ensure that repairs are performed efficiently and properly.  This along with his self-motivation for stepping outside his comfort zone to try new things and to gain a different perspective will also be key.

“When I get to work on the equipment, I feel like I am doing something I love and helping out all at the same time.”

 - Jacob S.



John Paul is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Automotive Technology along with a Minor in Business while attending Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas.  As a recent graduate, John Paul is excited to pursue a career in automotive by utilizing his creativity and experience in the industry to challenge himself while helping others.


John Paul’s experience with automotive ranges from routine service and repairs for friends and family to sourcing used vehicles to repair and reuse for Nebraska non-profit, Hope of the Poor.  He also credits his passion for automotive to his experience with personal restoration and fabrication projects.  These included an electric scooter to gas conversion using an old weed eater while customizing brackets and mounts.  Another project he holds close is a 1979 F-250 restoration, while keeping it from becoming a junkyard addition.  This along with his experience working at a family-owned auto shop in Omaha all attribute to the growth of his enjoyment and interest in the industry.


John Paul’s future aspirations after college include managing his own shop that repairs and sells anything with an engine.  Fueled by frustration with part design, fitment, or ease of access when repairing his own projects, he also hopes to engineer better performing parts for customers that make the job easier.  His realistic approach to career progression should help him achieve success within the industry.  John Paul expects to start towards his long-term goal as a mechanic performing basic repair and diagnosis while he works to perfect his welding, body work, and other skills along the way.  He is optimistic about the potential for the restoration industry due to the availability of vehicles in need of repair and renovation.


“I really have a vision for seeing value when others see junk.  I love saving these old trucks and putting them back on the road.  I want to inspire others to do so as well…”


- John Paul J.


2020 Recipients - Johnathon Klement & Brett Rasmussen

Johnathon Klement of Bishop Neumann High School and Brett Rasmussen of Gibbon High School! 



Johnathon is pursuing to study Automotive Restoration while attending the Hot Rod Institute in Rapid City, South Dakota. 

As a recent graduate, Johnathon is looking forward to utilizing his imagination and drive for the industry to work towards his goals of rebuilding, repurposing, restoring, and redesigning history via automobiles.

Johnathon’s belief that the future of automotive restoration relies heavily on the introduction of youth into the industry shows strongly.  With newer vehicles continuing to serve as daily drivers, the older vehicles and the history behind them rusts away.  Johnathon hopes to help reverse this by working to preserve the past for future generations to both learn from and enjoy.

 “I want to make sure that my future children and their friends understand the past… to want to drive an old car or truck to school”


With the continuous advancement of technology and the impact is has on the automotive industry, Johnathon also wishes to make ‘old’ cool again by incorporating new technology into his builds.

“Imagine a 1940’s Ford Coupe pulling up and parking itself.  This can be done.”

Johnathon credits his motivation to succeed in the industry with his determination to see projects through to the end. Also, knowing that he is making a difference for other young enthusiasts for years to come.  Only through restoration, will future generations be able to understand and see what their great-grandparents drove.

“I am not ready for the art of auto restoration to die, are you?


– Johnathon K.



Brett is pursuing to study Diesel Technology while attending Central Community College in Hastings, Nebraska. 

Brett’s upbringing in the automotive industry can be credited to his interest from a young age.  His involvement with this father’s and older brother’s builds helped instill a passion for classic cars and racing.  Additionally, Brett credits his participation in multiple car shows and drag racing events to his joy for restoring classic cars.  Brett believes that his passion to pursue a career in the field would allow him to enhance his skills and interests within a hobby that he enjoys and loves, even more.

“The automotive industry has always been a hobby to me, but most importantly, making memories with my family.”

Brett’s future aspirations after college include opening a mechanic shop in his hometown.  In doing so, he wishes to serve the rural community needs and to give back to the community through his future business’s services.  His experience working as a farmhand with agricultural machinery has greatly assisted in his knowledge and work ethic to utilize within the industry.

Brett’s interest for both agriculture and classic cars has fueled his eagerness to explore ways to improve the economy of engines without jeopardizing power.  Additionally, to make the most power out of machinery without negatively affecting the environment.  Brett’s drive for expanding his interests along with his understanding in the importance of manual labor jobs is evident.

“I know the value of good honest work, and I believe, as a future diesel mechanic, I will offer that.”


– Brett R.

2019 Recipient - Zachary Lamprecht

Seven Mile Ridez is proud to announce that the 2019 scholarship is awarded to Zachary Lamprecht of Wahoo High School!  Zachary is currently pursuing to study Automotive Technology via the General Motors Automotive Service Educational Program at Southeast Community College in Lincoln, Nebraska.

As a recent graduate, Zachary is looking forward to the opportunity to learn more about the automotive industry and work towards his goal of becoming someone who can help everyone in even the smallest ways possible, in regards to automotive service.

Zachary is very accustomed to working hard and being a team player while working with others.  As a current employee at Sid Dillon auto dealership, Zachary enjoys focusing on the details, whether it is listening and understanding vehicle needs, to changing tires and oil.  Through his current work experience in the industry, Zachary is very optimistic about his future and strives to gain more knowledge to better understand and perform more technical jobs on vehicles.


“I don't like to stand around with nothing to do.  I would say I am a self-starter and a go-getter.”


Zachary credits his passion for the industry to his continuous interest in the field as someone who has always been a hands-on worker, and has enjoyed working with anything that has an engine.  Along with his mechanical desires, Zachary wants strongly to simply be helpful to people.


“Combining my passion for helping people, my knowledge of engines and my personal characteristics, I believe I will benefit the automotive industry.”

– Zachary L.

2018 Recipient - Jacob Karatoprakli

Seven Mile Ridez is proud to announce that the 2018 scholarship is awarded to Jacob Karatoprakli of Millard North High School!  He is currently pursuing to study Automotive Technology at Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Nebraska. 

As a recent graduate, Jacob is looking forward to the opportunity to continue his academic career at MCC in the Automotive Technology Program and work towards his dream of becoming an automotive mechanic. 


Jacob is no stranger to the hard work and dedication that it takes to reach such a dream.  Even with busy school schedules and homework, Jacob has successfully held part time jobs since he was 15 years old, all the while maintaining a 3.265 GPA.  Among his busy high school schedule Jacob participated in a number of programs in and outside of the classroom.  A few of these include; the Middle Years International Baccalaureate Program, High Ability Learner Program, and Step Up Omaha which is a program for financially disadvantaged youth to assist with teaching job skills and assist with gaining employment.


“I worked full-time during the summertime and during the school year; I work about 30 hours a week.  Balancing high school and work has prepared me for college.”


Jacob credits his current position at Superior Honda of Omaha along with his experience working on friends and neighbor’s cars as well as his own with the motivation he needs to continue his education in the industry.  Aside from spending time outdoors, fishing, or with his friends and family, Jacob enjoys working on his Lincoln Town Car, teaching himself how to perform repairs and regular maintenance.


“If something needs to be repaired on my car, I truly enjoy researching how to fix it.  It gives me pleasure to figure out how to complete an auto repair by myself.”


As a first generation son of an immigrant and veteran of the United States Army, Jacob knows the importance of appreciation for everything this great country has to offer and takes pride in becoming part of the “American dream”.


Jacobs’s future goals in the automotive industry consist of working at a reputable new car dealership or independent automotive repair facility as a service technician where he can contribute quality repairs to customers at an honest, affordable price, while striving to establish trusting relationships with customers to help ease the stressful burden of car repairs.


“I like to help people and would truly enjoy helping customers.” – Jacob K.

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