When you first look at McKinlee Thacker, a high school senior with blonde hair and blue eyes, it may come as a surprise to find out she’s enrolled in the Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair program at Uintah Basin Technical College.
McKinlee grew up spending a lot of time in her father’s automotive shop where she developed a love for cars and trucks.
Still, she said she had to convince her mother that it was okay for her “little girl” to choose a career as an auto mechanic.
McKinlee attends Altamont High School, which means she has an hour round-trip commute each day to attend UBTech. She’s made sacrifices to achieve her goals including giving up playing high school sports and leaving her friends, but she says it’s “100% worth it.” She hopes to inspire other high school students to take advantage of UBTech programs while in high school. This spring she plans to complete the CDL program at UBTech so she can drive a tow-truck. Her goal is to own and operate an auto body shop.
McKinlee won the UBTech automotive competition. She will compete in the Motorcycle Service Technology contest at the Utah SkillsUSA competition this year.
View McKinlee's Student of the Year video here