A special early summer ritual at FCA US headquarters is the day the Company recognizes the new class of FCA Student Achievement Awards recipients.
Each year since 2013, the children of FCA employees throughout the North American region present their academic achievements to panels of judges in a quest to earn one of these coveted awards.
Awards are earned by winning applicants who completed high school, associate or bachelor degree programs. Winning applicants receive their awards in the year following completion of their academic milestone.
Recipients are selected from hundreds of applicants during the second quarter each year and receive their awards at an event attended by their parents, judges and company executives. This year’s awards program honored 71 winners and was held on July 11.
In fact, since the program was expanded in 2013 to include FCA US and the North American region, more than 350 employees’ children have earned awards, totaling more than $2.3 million.
Michelle Ferderbar, a two-time winner of an FCA Student Achievement Award, is currently pursuing a science master’s degree in eHealth at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
“I was absolutely over the moon! It still makes me happy to think I was recognized with such an award,” Michelle said. “To be recognized for all the hard work I’ve done is absolutely phenomenal and has inspired me to work harder. An award like that isn’t given to just anybody, it is awarded to someone who already shows promise and has a bright future.”
Charlotte Wunderlich earned an award in 2015 for her undergraduate accomplishments. Today she is a middle school band teacher in Connecticut while pursuing a master’s degree in music education from the University of Hartford.
“Receiving the FCA award was a huge honor for me,” Charlotte said. “I was not only proud to receive the award at FCA US headquarters where my mom works, I was also proud to receive the award as an arts major. I love what I do and representing music and the arts at the award ceremony was wonderful.”
Charlotte’s mom, Eileen Wunderlich, manages marketing communications at FCA US.
“While many companies have ways of recognizing their employees, very few have programs to recognize employee families,” Eileen observed. “It’s great to be part of a company that does just that via the FCA Student Achievement Awards.”
Kevin Hoey works at the Marysville Parts Depot and has had two children earn FCA Student Achievement Awards: son Shane in 2015 and daughter Caitlin in 2017.
“My wife and I are extremely proud of both our children for all their scholastic achievements,” Kevin said. “Earning an award from FCA was the pinnacle. Both work hard and understand what it’s going to take to be successful in today’s world. Each has taken their education seriously, which makes the contributions we make all the more satisfying.”
“When I received the FCA Student Achievement Award I was blown away,” noted Kevin’s daughter Caitlin, who studies speech pathology at Western Michigan University Graduate School. “I am truly honored to have stood out. This award gives me the chance to breathe. I now have cushion to fall back on for academic and living expenses.”
And that’s what it’s all about.