In 2019, five hardworking students received scholarships from The NATSO Foundation’s Bill and Carolyn Moon Scholarship, which is awarded to truckstop and travel center industry employees and their children based on academic merit, community activities and a short essay.
2020 Bill and Carolyn Moon Scholarship
The NATSO Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2020 Bill and Carolyn Moon Scholarship. You can apply for the scholarship online by clicking here. The application deadline is May 15, 2020.
Visit https://www.natso.com/natsofoundation/billmoonscholarship for information on the 2020 Bill and Carolyn Moon Scholarship.
Meet the 2019 Recipients
The recipients all demonstrated their connections to the truckstop and travel plaza industry and said the industry has played an important part in helping them forge their career paths and find success. Meet 2019’s recipients:
Abigail Berns: The past four years of working at Fred's Fuel ‘n Food in Gilman, Illinois, have given Abigail Berns new skills that she said will carry over into her career as an elementary school teacher. Berns, whose mother is a manager at Fred’s Fuel ‘n Food, is attending Eastern Illinois University.
“I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to have learned so much from working at a truckstop and look forward to going further in my education and becoming a teacher. I am grateful to be part of the team at one of the best truckstops in the country,” Berns said, adding that she has worked as a cashier at the fuel desk and the Krispy Krunchy Chicken counter and as a stock clerk.
Berns also completed a marketing research project. Her experience has taught her organizational, social and research skills as well as life skills, such as how to handle and manage money and the importance of being punctual. “Social skills are a major key to be a cashier. I have assisted customers from many cultures and nationalities and found it to be very interesting,” she said.
Allison Duncan: Allison Duncan works at Hood's Service Center in Bois D'Arc, Missouri, and attends Truman State University. “This truckstop has given me the opportunity to learn what it means to be an employee, taught me valuable life skills, and helped me to realize my goals and passion,” she said. “Without the opportunity to work at Hood’s for the past year and a half, I can’t say for sure whether or not I would be pursuing my career in business. Thanks to them, there is no doubt that I will.”
Duncan started as a cashier, and she has since progressed to roles within maintenance, inventory, housekeeping and the office. “By trying so many different tasks and learning the skills involved with each, I truly began to realize what interested me and what did not. There are many different aspects to running a business, and working alongside my father, the manager, I began to learn them,” she said.
Working at the truckstop also taught Duncan how to talk to customers, whether angry or polite, how to handle money, work with computers and programs, how to mow and weed, and how to change a tire. “I have learned skills that will not only help in my future career, but that will also allow me to excel in my personal life,” she said.
Christina Enno: Christina Enno works at Pilot Co. (formerly known as Pilot Travel Centers) and is attending Colorado State University Global Campus. “Eleven years ago, I would not have dreamed of being where I am today,” she said. “I didn’t know, when I began my career at Pilot Flying J, that I would be an essential part of a fuel conglomerate and in driving the company’s environmental compliance systems growth and ingenuity.”
Today Enno is managing the fuel systems inventory compliance program at Pilot Co. She said building upon her education and knowledge in business management will help her lead the company to become the trailblazer in the fueling industry and help her move forward in her career.
“Business management training and credentials would better arm me with the leadership skills needed to master more in-depth initiatives in system applications development, data analysis, research and troubleshooting, and effective communication and team collaboration,” she said.
Kaitlin Levin: Kaitlin Levin, whose father works in the corporate office for CEFCO Travel Centers in Temple, Texas, is pursuing a Master of Science degree in industrial engineering at Purdue University, studying food manufacturing both from an industrial perspective and a business perspective. She said her father’s involvement in the truckstop and travel plaza indusry sparked her interest in foods.
“Growing up as the daughter of a member of the truckstop and travel plaza industry, I was frequently exposed to the newest and most exciting innovations in snacks and meal solutions that the industry had to offer,” she said, adding that she always looked forward to her father returning from conferences and industry meetings so she could taste new M&M flavors or the new solutions for fresh ready-to-eat salads and sandwiches. “My father didn’t just give me candy and snacks, however, he would always explain the rationale behind what his stores would and would not stock.”
Levin pursued studies in agricultural and biological engineering and learned how to design manufacturing facilities to produce different kinds of food, the microbiological properties of foods, the science behind genetic engineering in food, and the differences in sanitary practices required to produce ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook foods, such as those often available in truckstops. “By continuing my education and career in the food industry, I’m able to contribute innovative snack and meal solutions to the truckstop and travel plaza industry that I grew up learning about from my father,” Levin explained.
Amanda Mclain: After starting work at Jubitz Travel Center in Portland, Oregon, Amanda Mclain determined that a degree in accounting would help her become a more valuable employee at the location. “When I received an interview for the vault auditor position almost two years ago, I immediately knew that Jubitz was the place of employment I could see myself growing with,” she said. “During my time at Jubitz, I have grown so much individually, academically and professionally.”
Today Mclain is attending Portland State University, pursuing her degree. “I aim to be an important asset within Jubitz Corp. while also catering to our truck driving customers,” she said. “More than anything, I want to continue to feel as if what I do matters regardless of what may lie ahead.”
Mclain said the support she has from her managers and co-workers has helped her succeed. “I have greatly appreciated the guidance I've received from my managers, Ed Guasco and Crystal Petrie. Their constructive criticism has allowed me to make improvements within every aspect of my life,” she said, adding that for the first time in her life she feels like she has found a place of employment that she can call her second home. “When I come into work, I can always expect to be supported within job tasks along with my academic endeavors, while also being a support system for my co-workers as well.”
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