YUKON — The number 79 is written large on the white board in the Automotive Service Technology classroom at Canadian Valley Technology Center’s Holt Campus.
It’s a source of pride for several dozen students enrolled in the program — pride in teamwork and individual achievement.
Seventy-nine is the total number of student certification exams passed in automotive service excellence.
The tests provide students with their first industry-recognized credentials.
“We just can’t get the full ASE certification until we have worked in the field for a year,” said Yukon student Jacob Manuel.
Manuel, 21, has completed five of nine student ASE certifications while attending just a half-day at Canadian Valley since August.
Without the credentials, auto service technicians are required to work two years before qualifying to take full ASE exams.
“I hope to take one more exam before the year is over,” Manuel said.
Manuel enrolled at Canadian Valley using the Next Step Scholarship, which provides free tuition to adults under age 24 who live within district boundaries.
“I like cars,” he said. “That’s the main thing. I like working with my hands. I like repairing something — and if I can see the outcome of it working — it’s pretty satisfying.”
Manuel admits his success in the classroom might not have happened just a few years earlier while he was attending high school.