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Three Arkansas Seniors to Receive Scholarships from Arkansas Trucking Association

Three graduating seniors have been selected to receive scholarships from the Arkansas Trucking Association. Each of the students will receive a $7,500 scholarship from the Carl Tapp Memorial Scholarship Fund to support their pursuit of careers in medium/heavy duty truck technology. Below are the 2021 Carl Tapp Scholarship recipients:

  • Caiden Sallee of Gentry, Ark.
  • Channlyn Vaughn of Jonesboro, Ark.
  • Ricky Watkins of Rogers, Ark.

“Without trucks, America stops; and without skilled technicians, trucks stop,” said Shannon Newton, president, Arkansas Trucking Association. “Truck drivers and diesel technicians are essential to a healthy economy. In fact, one in ten working Arkansans has a career in trucking. And that’s what we’re providing with these scholarships – the opportunity to launch careers. We welcome this year’s scholarship recipients into our industry where they will learn to ensure the safety of trucking equipment on the roads we all share.”

Caiden Sallee is a senior at Gentry High School where he is studying diesel electrical systems and is in the top ten percent of his class. He plans to attend Northwest Technical Institute this fall.

“I want to become a diesel mechanic because it’s what I love doing,” Sallee said. “I love working hard and the variety of work that diesel mechanics do.”

Channlyn Vaughn will graduate from Westside High School in Jonesboro, Ark., this month. She has a passion for diesel technology and has been working on cars since she was 8 years old.

“Being a diesel technician has been a dream and life-long goal of mine,” Vaughn said. “From growing up in a shop, I’ve never thought of a different career. I look forward to taking on the challenges ahead as they are just stepping stones to my future.”

Having just graduated from Rogers Heritage High School where he served as captain of the wrestling team, Ricky Watkins will next enroll at Northwest Technical Institute to begin his formal studies. He applied for the Carl Tapp Memorial Scholarship to, “help me achieve my goal of becoming a diesel mechanic, and in doing so, will make my family proud.”

“By becoming a technician, I will be helping thousands of Americans to get products all over the country,” Watkins said. “Because without trucks there would be nothing. No products in stores. No cars to drive. No fuel in gas stations. So, I think the career I chose is a pretty important one.”

“The competition for the scholarship was so strong this year that we couldn’t pick just one, so instead we went with three students,” said Kenneth Calhoun, founding member of the scholarship committee. “It’s a great problem to have: So many bright, aspirational problem-solvers wanting to become medium/heavy duty truck technicians. I look forward to seeing their careers advance and watching as they become ambassadors for our industry.”

The Arkansas Trucking Association’s Maintenance & Technology Council established the Carl Tapp Memorial Scholarship Fund to celebrate Carl Tapp, the council’s first chairman, and his career-long commitment to nurturing new talent in the industry. The Fund is intended to enable and encourage growth in the state’s diesel technician workforce and to help assure that the safest, most knowledgeable and skilled technicians are working on the trucks and trailers on our nation’s roads. Candidates were evaluated based upon their interest and performance in STEM courses, teacher and mentor recommendations and personal interviews with the scholarship committee of industry experts.

These scholarships have been made possible by the vision and investment in the future of trucking in Arkansas by the following companies and individuals: ABF Freight, ArcBest, Bruce Purkey, DAVCO Technology, Doggett Freightliner of Arkansas, FleetNet America, Inland PacLease, Kenneth Calhoun, Maverick Transportation, McConnell & Son, McKee Foods Transportation, MHC Kenworth Leasing, NorCal PacLease, PACCAR, PACCAR Leasing Company, PacLease Dallas, Pressure Systems International, Southland PacLease, Summit Truck Group, TechForce Foundation, The Tapp Family, TLG Peterbilt, Truck Centers of Arkansas, Truck-Lite Co. and Walt Luethy. For more information about the Scholarship Fund, visit

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Arkansas Trucking Association
PO Box 3476 (72203)
1401 West Capitol Ave.
Suite 185
Little Rock, AR 72201

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Our Mission

  • PROTECT the collective interests of trucking companies in the political and regulatory arenas.
  • PROMOTE the dynamics of trucking so that people have a better understanding of the link between America's primary freight delivery system and the standard of living they enjoy.
  • SERVE our members to help them to grow their business and their profits
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