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Texas high school automotive female students make history

Temple High is sending five girls to Skills USA state competition for the first time ever

TEMPLE, Texas — It's only right that on International Women's Day, a group of girls at Temple High School make history.

Five female automotive students qualified for the Skills USA state competition in Corpus Christi. So, the girls are proving that auto repair isn't just for the guys. 

One of the projects involved rebuilding a broken alternator, painting it and documenting the process. One of the alternator projects, lead by Yeraldine Garcia, earned a score of 192.5/200.

Automotive teacher Joshua Koontz says he's not surprised that the girls are having this success.

"They just do things differently, a little more precise. Women get their fine motor skills way before guys do so. And that's proven and it shows," he said.

Nyla, Yeraldine, Aliza, Angela and Priscilla are apart of the biggest group of female students that have ever gone to the state competition from the high school. 

Credit: Jon Wallin
Left to right, Yeraldine, Angela, Aliza, Priscilla and Nyla all became apart of the largest group of girls to represent Temple High at state competition

But regardless of the result, the girls are just happy to continue making memories. 

"It's gonna be a fun experience to be able to grow as a team," Garcia said. "Even if we don't make it, we have that memory of trying, we at least tried."

But this female presence wasn't always there in the automotive class. Koontz says more girls have joined every year since he started.

"Whenever I first got here, there was two or three girls are taking it. Now, I think we started the year with 13 or 14."

The state competition is set for March 31 and if the girls do well enough, they can advance to the national Skills USA competition to compete against classes from all over the country. 

But none of this would have even been possible if they didn't take that chance to do something most girls might not think to do.

"You should just always go for anything that you want to like if you have a dream just go for it," Medina said. "You miss every shot you don't take."

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