ASSET Student Wins Prestigious Federal-Mogul Scholarship

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Robert Morantes (left) stands with ASSET Lead Instructor Kristopher Young.

Robert Morantes, a student in the Automotive Student Service Educational Training (ASSET) program at HFC, was one of 12 students in the entire nation and the only one at HFC to win a $2,500 “Garage Guru” scholarship from the Federal-Mogul Corp. in Southfield.

“I decided to go back to school in the last year to better my life and that of my family. Financially, tuition has set us back greatly, and my family has made huge sacrifices to allow me to go to school,” said Morantes, who lives with his wife Julie and their two children, ages 3 and 20 months, in South Lyon.

A 2006 Milford High School alumnus, Morantes has worked as a mechanic’s assistant at Hines Park Ford, a car dealership in New Hudson, for the last five years. He realized that to advance in his career and provide a better life for his family, he needed to further his education. That’s why he enrolled in HFC’s ASSET program.

The ASSET program is a two-year college program leading to an associate degree in Automotive Service Technology. It is a joint effort of Ford Motor Co., Ford and Lincoln dealers, and participating community colleges. The ASSET program allows technical and vocational students to receive on-the-job training at a sponsoring Ford or Lincoln car dealership while earning an associate degree.

“The ASSET program has advanced me greatly in such a short period of time. It’s accelerated me professionally. I didn’t think anything of this scholarship. I had the information for a while. I reread it a few months later and applied. I didn’t think I’d get it. I was humbled by what (ASSET program coordinator/instructor Kris Young and Hines Park service manager Michael Lapum) wrote about me – I was pleasantly surprised. My wife cried when she read their letters of recommendation. It’s wonderful to win this amount of money, especially when you’re going to school full-time and working part-time and you’ve got kids – this helps out tremendously,” said Morantes.

Morantes stated that once he graduates in 2016, he wants to work at a dealership for several more years but as a mechanic. Eventually, he would like to earn an undergraduate degree.

“He’s one of the older students in my program. He’s very motivated. He was working in a dealership and decided that to further his career and provide a stable life for his family, he would go into the ASSET program and become fully Ford-certified, along with earning his associate degree. Over the last year and a half, he’s been not only a top student but also a mentor to other students in the class, which is nice to see. He has the respect of his classmates, as well as myself and his service manager,” said Young.

To learn more about the HFC ASSET Program, please visit