The Edward W. Erkel Memorial Scholarship seeks to encourage and support African American women and raise their representation in the transportation industry. Out of a population of 3.5 million truck drivers in the U.S., less than 6% are women, and even fewer women of color, according to data compiled by the American Trucking Associations (ATA).

The Edward W. Erkel Memorial Scholarship honors a veteran bus and truck driver who devoted his career to advocating for passenger safety and the well-being of all long-haul drivers.

Ed Erkel grew up in Pittsburgh’s Mt. Washington neighborhood and operated an independent local hauling business as a young man. He later hauled stone and other materials for Magnotti & Son, Inc., a longstanding company in Pittsburgh’s South Hills.

After working as a long-haul truck driver, Ed turned his love for driving toward passenger travel as an interstate bus operator. He joined Trailways in the early 1960s, driving their famed Silver Eagle coach designed and built by the German manufacturer Kässbohrer. Ed often worked the “extra board” which meant a regularly changing schedule and destinations. He would also accept charter assignments that had him dedicated to a group for several weeks or longer.

In 1965, Ed received a charter assignment from Motown Records to take the Motortown Revue — the name given to the package concert tours of Motown artists in the 1960s — on tour. Among the artist on board were The Four Tops, The Temptations, Martha & The Vandellas and a fifteen-year-old Stevie Wonder.

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The Christopher Zikmund Tool Scholarship is a needs-based scholarship honoring the life of Rosedale Tech diesel student, Christopher Zikmund, who could not fulfill his dream of becoming a diesel mechanic as he died tragically as a result of a drug overdose in March 2016.

The $2,000 scholarship will memorialize Christopher’s achievements and is designed to assist aspiring diesel students in purchasing tools for their program at Rosedale Tech.

Christopher Zikmund, a 2012 Archbishop Wood graduate, was an easy-going individual with an adventurous spirit and a thirst for life. He was very outgoing and interacted with everyone; no matter how long he knew them, he always impacted them positively. He enjoyed making people laugh, loved the game of baseball and had a passion for diesel trucks.

Christopher distinguished himself as a skilled baseball player and aspired to be a diesel mechanic.

Christopher’s passion for diesel trucks began when he was a young teenager. He owned a few of them and you could always find him and his friends in the driveway finding a way to make them look better, sound louder, and run faster. After a few years of college, Christopher found his calling and was accepted into the program at Rosedale Tech.

Christopher made friends everywhere he went in life. He was a kind and caring young man but the one characteristic he will be most remembered for was his infectious smile.

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student in automative program changing tires