There are mentors, and then there are MENTORS, but how many people can thank Her Majesty the Queen of England, Elizabeth II, for an encouraging word?
Jovie Last, a Community College of Philadelphia automotive technology student, did.
In September, Last wrote to the Queen from "across the Puddle," telling the Queen that her Majesty’s service as a truck and tank mechanic during World War II had inspired Last to make a mid-life career change and begin training as an automotive technician.
"While I am sure you recognize a lot has changed technologically since you served as a truck and tank mechanic in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, the excellence you brought to your work set the bar high for women’s mental and mechanical abilities, and for what can be expected of women in the automotive industry (nothing short of a proper job, well done in a timely manner)—and further, you volunteered to do so!," Last wrote.
Last noted that her father had served in the U.S. Army during World War II, making her, "even more proud to enter this traditionally male dominated field... You are an inspiration to women and nations globally. As I train I will keep close in mind that I am following in the noble footsteps and nimble mechanical handiwork of Her Majesty The Queen."
Last received a reply dated Nov. 28 from Miss Jennie Vine, the Queen's deputy correspondence coordinator.
Using Buckingham Palace stationary, Ms. Vine wrote that the "Queen was greatly touched to know that you feel that her service in the Auxiliary Territorial Service during the Second World War, when she was Princess Elizabeth, has proved an inspiration to many women who now wish to consider a career in this area."
Miss Vine closed by wishing Last "every success for the future."
Last already has a job at Central City Toyota, having made the connection through a meet-and-greet event at the College. She will earn her Automotive Service proficiency certificate in May.
"This student is a real go-getter," said Dr. Pam Carter, dean of Business and Technology. "This is a great example of our proficiency certificates providing students with the skills to land new job opportunities."
Last's reaction: "Not too shabby a commendation, I'd say! Thank you for making the CCP AutoTech program relevant, potent, effective... and FUN! Cars are fun. They're hard, particularly the electrical bits and pieces, but they are FUN!"