Driven Mother of Two Finds Success in Automotive Program

Amanda Madril is not the kind of person to let anything stop her from doing what she wants.

When she was told growing up that she had a learning disability and would not graduate high school—she graduated.

When she was told she would not make it in the Navy—she made it.

When she was told she would never be a successful student—she got her master’s degree.

And when she was given the opportunity to learn a new trade, she chose a field dominated by men—because why not?

Everything she has accomplished has been for her two sons, Amanda said, and enrolling in the Automotive Technician program at UEI College’s Chula Vista campus is no exception.

“My husband is active duty and I have two boys. If my husband wasn’t going to be there to teach my children about basic car maintenance, I figured someone needs to do that. I might as well be the person to do it,” Amanda said. “I had multiple reasons, but it was driven by family. I needed to make sure my boys are being raised to be successful members of society.”

Once Amanda began the program, her drive pushed her to be the best and to make her class the best as well.

“I am a very enthusiastic person by nature and very inquisitive,” she said. “My professors definitely had their hands full when it came to me. I am surprised they got a word in edgewise with me always stopping them saying ‘explain that, explain that, explain that.’ They rolled with it. Their frustration never mounted. They are beyond trained to deal with someone like me. It helps too that I kind of take charge of things.”

“Having students ask questions without having to solicit questions is refreshing in a way,” said Stephen Keevil, Amanda’s instructor. “It gages the instructor and other students benefit from it. Having students that ask those questions so we can rephrase something or explain it in a different way benefits everybody.”

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Amanda’s master’s degree is in organizational leadership. She’s a pro at seeing how things could be organized better and she knows how to manage people. She couldn’t help but apply that experience to the classroom.

“She is a natural born leader,” Mr. Keevil said. “She had a military background so that may have something to do with it, but she wants to learn. She was a great motivator for other students as well.”

Before long Amanda was ensuring that each student updated their resume after each module, to prepare for networking with guest speakers. She also did not tolerate bad attitudes or excessive absences. 

“I held them to a higher standard that I don’t think the school was ready for, but no one ever told me no,” she said. “If I told someone they needed to be on time, they would be on time. Our class had the best attendance record.”

Amanda graduated the program with honors. After graduation, she got a job in a management role at a car dealership, handling customer questions and also helping the dealership to recognize the areas within the company that need improvement. Her goal was always to gain a new skill to better herself and strengthen her family.

“I’m just very self-driven,” she said. “My kids are my force behind everything. I don’t do anything without having them in mind. I don’t need them reliant on anyone or reliant on a tow truck just to change a flat tire. They can do it and they can do it safely and they can do it because I can do it and I can do it because I paid attention.”

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