Maplewood H.S. Automotive Students Learn From Firestone Engineer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Maplewood High School students got a lesson from one of the best racing engineers in the country. Cara Adams is Firestone's Chief Engineer and Manager of Race Tire Development. 

"Seeing women here means that women can make it in this industry and they can have a lot of opportunities like men," said auto student Erika Rosales.  

Rosales enrolled at Maplewood High School's Automotive Training Program. She said it was her dad that put her love of cars in drive. 

"He used to always work on his cars, his truck. So I would help him," she said. 

Rosales and her classmates are 16 and 17-years old. New to the open road. 

"I just like how [cars are] made and the speed of them. The looks. The models. And how they work," said student Albert Ryans.

Twjuana "TJ" Williams is the automotive teacher at Maplewood High School. 

"They're doing some things that grown folk don't get the opportunity to do so they feel like they're more marketable," she said. 

Williams is a college-educated mechanic who decided to use her love for automotive industry as an opportunity to help underprivileged students who desperately need it. 

"Most of our kids live below the poverty line. So here's the deal. If I'm poor I don't need you to tell me I'm poor. I need you to show me or teach me," she said. 

She hopes experience like this one will inspire her students to shift their dreams into high gear. 

"There's a huge shortage of technicians worldwide. So this is the place to be. This is the thing to do," she said. 

Since the beginning of the partnership in 2015, Bridgestone has hired 15 Maplewood High School graduates and 12 interns. 

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