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Senior accepted to elite collegiate automotive program
James Hluchan, 12

Parents, teachers, and counselors all tell students to follow their dreams, pursue a career they are passionate about, and find their path in life. For most seniors, that is a daunting task where, even if they have a dream, they do not think they can achieve it. However, on December 1, senior James Hluchan found out he had been accepted to McPherson College in Mcpherson, Kansas, to pursue a degree in automotive restoration.

James has been interested in automobiles since he was a toddler, and it has continued to be a hobby that he has gravitated to over the years as he pursues learning.

“When James was three years old, he bought himself a Hot Wheels track off eBay,” Mrs. Hluchan said. “He’s been fascinated with cars for the past 14 years and I can’t wait to see where it takes him.”

James has always been interested in older model vehicles and remembers spending time watching car videos online when he was younger, especially of the first-generation Camaro.

As his high school career is coming to an end, James’ decision to pursue an education has been met with great support from his family.

“James much prefers working with his hands than school, so when his dad was doing some research he found McPherson College online,” Mrs. Hluchan said. “This seemed like a good possibility for James, so we started looking into it.”

As James takes the next steps toward his future, his mom believes that McPherson College is a good decision for someone who is a reserved, diligent worker.

“I think McPherson is an amazing fit for James,” Mrs. Hluchan said. “The school is small with only about 800 students and the program that he was accepted into only takes about 40 kids per year.”

James is aware that the possibilities are endless for him in an elite college program that has limited recognition.

“The program I am doing at McPherson is the only one like it in the country,” James said. “I know I’m going to learn a lot more, from bodywork to woodworking, and I can’t wait to continue learning more in the program.”

As the years developed, James’ interest grew from his hobby to his academic career, an aspect his automotive teacher, Nathan McCann, has commended.

“James’ best attributes are his trustworthiness, manners, and behaviors,” McCann said. “His concentration is on focusing on the subject in front of him and that aids in his pursuit of knowledge.”

For James’ process in applying to McPherson, McCann has an understanding of his self-paced approach to learning and his will to succeed.

“James is a self-driven student which made it easy to support him when he was applying to McPherson,” McCann said. “I’ve been able to help introduce him to the automotive skills contest where he has competed over the years and to some of the projects he’s building in class.”

James’ mother sees the patience and determination in his aspirations and has already been impressed with the projects he has completed while in high school.

“James had to submit a portfolio and demonstrate how he is good with his hands and that he can learn new skills,” Mrs. Hluchan said. “While at McPherson, James wants to focus on upholstery for cars to help fund his expensive hobby of restoring cars.”

With a solid plan in place for his future, McCann believes that James is capable of anything he desires to accomplish.

“In my class, he has been very motivated, and he’s wanting to get into this industry when he graduates,” McCann said. “If James stays on the pathway that he is in there’ll be lots of opportunities for him in his future.”

His mother is surprised and grateful for the initiative that James has taken in his future.

“James is doing something that I never saw him doing,” Mrs. Hluchan said. “I’m a very proud mom that he has found his passion, and he is moving forward with it.”

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Christian Alvarado, Staff Writer
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