OOIDA Foundation selects scholarship winners

The OOIDA Foundation recently awarded $3,000 in scholarships to four college-bound children of OOIDA members.

The scholarship committee selected these four scholars from among applicants across the country. Each applicant wrote a 500-word essay discussing the pros and cons of the topic, “The Impact of the Truck Industry on my Life and Academic Career.”

Here are the OOIDA scholars for the 2001 school year:

Janine Smeltz is the daughter of member R. Dixon Smeltz, Herndon, PA. Janine is enrolled at Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA, where she plans to major in accounting. She received a $1,000 scholarship award. Her winning essay is published in this issue of Land Line.

Clifton Howard Smith is the son of Randy A. Smith, Lincolnton, NC. Clifton graduated from North Carolina State University and is currently enrolled in the Campbell University School of Law. He received a $1,000 scholarship award.

Martin G. Chabot, son of Geoffrey W. Chabot, Kalispell, MI, is enrolled at Carroll College in Helena, MT, and plans to major in math/engineering. He received a $500 scholarship award.

Charlie Chapman, son of member Ronald Chapman, Oelwein, IA, is enrolled at Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo, IA, where he plans to study diesel mechanics. He received a $500 scholarship award.

The OOIDA Scholarship Program was established to aid the children, grandchildren and legal dependents of OOIDA members. Awarded scholarships are renewable for three additional years. Tax deductible donations to the OOIDA Scholarship Program can be sent to: OOIDA Foundation Inc., 311 R.D. Mize Road, Grain Valley, MO 64029.

The Impact of the Trucking Industry on My Life and Academic Career

by Janine Smeltz

The trucking industry has had a significant impact on my life and academic career. My father, through his experience as an owner-operator, has instilled in me the values needed to be successful in the real world. Without the reality of his experiences in the trucking industry, I don’t believe these values and lessons could have been completely appreciated. I have observed the need for such qualities as dedication, patience, responsibility and a hard working attitude. As a high school senior, I have already utilized these qualities in my life. I take pride in my academic achievements, my athletic successes and my part-time jobs. With my father’s help, I have learned how to manage my time and money. His early morning trips, late night hauls, weekly maintenance schedule, daily paperwork duties and long-term budgeting plans have ingrained in me the value of time and money. These values have affected my academic and career choices.

My academic career choice has been directly affected by the trucking industry. Math has always been my favorite subject. I like to contribute this to the time my father has spent with me while I was growing up counting out money, explaining logbooks or practicing my times tables. This has always been a special bond for us. I have watched my father go through all the logbooks, tax forms and calculations required to run his trucking business, and I have realized that is what I want to do. I would like to take the skills needed to be a good owner-operator and further my academics at Juniata College majoring in accounting, and possibly adding a minor in business management.

My father, despite not continuing his formal education beyond the high school level, operates his business successfully. He could tell you how to get to most of Pennsylvania’s towns and cities, and how many McDonald’s, rest areas and potholes you would encounter on the way. He could reconstruct a transmission and find a fuel or air leak. However, if asked to write a report on how he did it, he would be at a loss for words. To have the hands-on knowledge and to be able to communicate it to others in writing would be an asset at times. A college education would have better prepared him in this area of the business world. Better study habits that could have been acquired in college would have helped him prepare for his CDL examinations. College courses, in business law and accounting practices, could have also aided him in dealing with the legalities and financial obligations of the trucking industry. My father has learned these skills through trial and error in real life situations. I would like to attain this important knowledge through a formal education where my skills can be practiced before going out on my own in the business world.

Being your own boss takes a huge commitment. The values that my father demonstrates through his accomplishments in the trucking industry are encouraging. One day, I want to be my own boss and lead others by owning and operating an accounting firm. The go-ahead attitude needed to step up and stand above a crowd is a trait needed for a successful truckdriver as well as an accountant. In order to succeed, I must harness the informal education I have already received from my father, through his experiences in the trucking industry, and take it to another level to achieve in college and in the business world.