August 19, 2022

Collision Repair and Refinishing (CRR) at the HACTC

“I engage in and participate in the projects not because I have to, but because I want to.” 
Katrina Fedderson, Woodstock Union High School, Collision Repair and Refinishing

K FeddersonMy name is Katrina Feddersen. I am a Junior at Woodstock Union High School, and I take Collision Repair and Refinishing (CRR) at the Hartford Area Career and Technology Center (HACTC). Going into CRR I didn’t have much knowledge about cars, let alone how to repair them. 

I wasn’t very engaged my Freshman and Sophomore years. I was one of the kids sitting in the back, not saying too much, just flying through school, waiting for my graduation date to come. When the opportunity came along to get a head start preparing for a future career by attending the HACTC, I did not hesitate. 

Throughout high school, you’re told a lot about what you’re going to be and how you’re going to get there and how much more schooling you will need to get there, but I didn’t yet know what I wanted to do when I graduated. Around February of my Sophomore year I shadowed three classes at the HACTC: Cosmetology, Computer Science, and CRR. 

I walked into CRR assuming I would have no interest in it. I never previously had an interest in cars or fixing them. During my shadow visit, Mr. Cassidy, the CRR teacher, pointed to my t-shirt and said, “AC/DC? You belong in this class!” I liked him immediately. The longer I shadowed the class, the more I wanted to be in it. As I watched everyone working on different CRR projects, I felt a reassuring sense of belonging.

I am a Junior now, spending half my school day in CRR at the HACTC. Unlike traditional high school, no one forces you to participate in these classes. You choose to be here. Being here motivates me to go to school every day. I engage in and participate in the projects not because I have to, but because I want to. Being engaged here is an important part of the school, not just in the Collision Repair class, but the HACTC as a whole community. Being here has made me feel more confident in myself and my abilities. Coming into class, ready to be engaged and wanting to learn more things, gives me and many others a sense of purpose and belonging.