Photo: WyoTech
Wyo Tech Women In Tech Club 63505de90f4a7

WyoTech and Jessi Combs Foundation draw women to the trades

Oct. 19, 2022
The foundation honoring the well-known racer and fabricator continues to develop her legacy with WyoTech by giving women the resources to pursue the automotive trades.

Three female WyoTech students have received the Jessi Combs Foundation (JFC) scholarship, placing them in a strong position to change the dismal amount of female technicians in the industry. The three students, Maggie Daskam, Jade Bovee, and Kaygen Bogle, each submitted their applications by video and were among eight total recipients of the scholarship doling out $40,000 in total this year.

The Foundation, which was launched on September 23, 2019, aims to guide women towards the trades, following in the footsteps of the esteemed WyoTech graduate Jessi Combs. By granting scholarships and in-kind donations, the organization hopes to inspire those such as Daskam, Bovee, and Bogle to join the industry, and will be releasing an HBO Max documentary detailing the professional racer and metal fabricator’s life in October 2022.

"The Jessi Combs Foundation thrills me and very much inspires me to explore and get my name known the same way Jessi did with 'the fastest woman on four wheels,'" said Bovee, who began her studies at WyoTech in 2021.

See also: FedEx Freight’s Pinter wins TMCSuperTech for 2nd time, while runner up Greenwood makes history

Even in a field where Combs was already remarkable as one of the 2% of female technicians and 9% of women involved in automotive repair and maintenance overall, she led a life apt for inspiring others. Combs broke the four-wheeled land speed record three times during her life, once in 2013, again in 2016, and one final time in 2019 when she passed away due to an accident during her run. Beyond her role as a professional racer, Combs co-hosted and appeared on several mechanically-minded shows on TV, including Xtreme 4x4, Overhaulin’, and Mythbusters, allowing her to image to reach up-and-coming female technicians.

"My family has always worked on cars, and we spend Sunday mornings watching car-building shows like the ones Jessi starred in,” Bogle said.

WyoTech, Combs’ alma-mater, has also carried on her memory by supporting their female students. In particular, the school founded their Women of WyoTech club in spring of 2022, an organization which supports female automotive, diesel and collision and refinishing students, offering them networking and learning opportunities.

The club "brings the few females here at school together and helps us get to know each other better," said Daskam, the third scholarship recipient. The Women of WyoTech have already attracted some industry attention as well, with some larger organizations such as United Rentals and the ASE Education Foundation offering its members the chance to network and see the industry.

With WyoTech’s investment in its female students, aided by organizations such as JFC, the industry may be able to bring some sorely-needed diversity to the field.

About the Author

Fleet Maintenance staff

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