Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America Inc. (MCFA), a leading manufacturer of forklifts under the Cat® lift trucks, Mitsubishi forklift trucks and Jungheinrich® brands, announced the winner of its 15th Annual Cat Lift Trucks Educational Scholarship, Kyra Dillahunty. Kyra received a $5,000 scholarship to use toward her pursuit of higher education at Texas State Technical College.
The Cat Lift Trucks scholarship program is dedicated to supporting goal-driven future leaders that are wanting to make an impact in the material handling industry. Each year, the recipient is chosen based on their academic performance, commitment to community service, demonstration of leadership abilities and financial need. The Cat Lift Trucks scholarship program has awarded more than $120,000 in educational assistance to Houston-area students.
Kyra Dillahunty graduated from Kempner High School in the Fort Bend Independent School District in May 2019. During her high school career, she has excelled in both academics and extracurricular activities, demonstrating her passion for art by serving as President of the National Art Society. She also prioritizes giving back to the community through her commitment to various service organizations, including Ronald McDonald House Houston and Smilin’ Rylen Run.
In college, Kyra plans to study Welding Technology, understanding the opportunity this trade will provide her in addition to expanding her art form. When asked why she chose to study welding, she stated, “It [welding] takes a steady hand and laser-like focus.”
With the welding industry facing a deficit in skilled-trade workers, MCFA is committed to helping bridge the skills gap with its annual scholarship program. According to the Census Bureau, in 2016, women made up 5.4 percent of the welding, soldering and brazing workers in the United States.
“It is important to continue to encourage and motivate the next generation, like Kyra, to pursue welding and acquire the skills to succeed in this industry,” said John Sneddon, vice president of sales and marketing at MCFA. “This is the 15th year to host our annual Cat Lift Trucks scholarship program, and we are continually impressed by the achievements of our applicants. We are grateful to support their journeys and happy to recognize the local educators that have gone above and beyond for their students and the broader Houston community.”
This year, Kyra had the opportunity to nominate her professor in honor of his efforts to uplift students’ educational pursuits. Kyra selected her shop teacher, Taylor Poncik, who championed the importance of education, a strong work ethic and striving for a better future.
Kyra accepted the Cat Lift Trucks Annual Scholarship during a surprise ceremony at her high school earlier this year.