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A Moment In Time
A Moment In Time
April 4, 2024

It’s Never Too Late

My name is Anthony Grimaldi and I am a current student at SCCC. I became a student in the fall of 2023, almost forty years after graduating high school. Life can be unpredictable; unexpected things can alter your goals, but instead of drifting through the ocean aimlessly, you have to point your sails in a positive direction and journey on.

As a Toyota worker, I have volunteered over the past nineteen years to mentor SCCC students, first in the Y.E.S. Program, then later the T-Ten Toyota based program. This always gave me a feeling of a connection with SCCC, so when it was time to head back to college, I felt what better place. Unfortunately, in the automotive field there is a shortage of qualified technicians. The complexity of a modern vehicle, as well as the inability to service and repair a vehicle on your own, has closed the window of inspiration for potential young future technicians. So how do we change this?

For me when I think “automotive” I think of a life style, not just a career. The automotive field is vast and wide: general repair to extensive fabrication to repairing a vehicle to a “new like” state after a collision, modifications to alter its appearance in addition to enhancing its performance. Regardless. there is a shortage of technicians, painters, fabricators, and performance specialists. For me, I feel the mentoring process I perform is the second step. So what’s the first step?

Car shows, cruise nights, car clubs or simply sharing your interest with a stranger are the first steps towards an automotive career. There’s an old saying “talk the talk and walk the walk.” Between my son and I, we have five classic cars, some modified, some original. When we go to an event (or even stop for fuel) frequently we are complemented and sometimes even asked a question about our car. We talk about the skills and dedication required to get a vehicle to this level and how rewarding it is to be able to do the repair’s/modifications on our own. Inspiration can be powerful, even life changing.

I’m lucky and here’s why. Last semester (Fall 2023), I was able to mix what I thought was my weakest subject English, with one of my favorites Photography. Here’s where luck or possibly faith came in: my instructor, Professor Marshack, was able to inspire me (the same way I try to inspire the younger generation through my mentoring) through allowing me to use my mind, discuss the task at hand, and encourage me to move forward. Though my writing is average, my mind and how it processes information is not. In the end, it turned out to be one of the most rewarding and gratifying classes I have ever taken.

Photography, or “Mechanical Art” as noted by my instructor Professor Ogden, allowed me to share my love and lifestyle, through my eyes, onto paper. I feel a good photographer shows you his/her thoughts, reflections and soul in every photograph. I went into the program thinking I would be just shooting cars at shows, while blending two of my favorite passions together, but instead Professor Ogden pushed me out of my comfort zone. This is when my passion for photography truly started. I had several of my photographs chosen as “The Photo of the Week” in a local newspaper.
So what did I conclude from these experiences? Even though a negative event has delayed or possibly altered my path moving forward, that doesn’t mean it has put a road block in it. For me, it has opened a doorway in the long hallway of life. So as I walk into the classroom, forty years older than most of the students, it’s refreshing when I can share some of my life experiences, and possibly even inspire a few fellow classmates.

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