How I got here:
I was raised in Caledonia by J.D. and Helen K. Baucom. My dad is a truck driver and my mom is a nurse. I got my interest in cars from my dad. He and I have loved cars and speed since before I can remember. Our greatest love is drag racing. We went to Memphis, Tenn., every year to watch the National Hot Rod Association drag races until Memphis Motorsports Park was shut down in 2009. Drag racing is the reason I chose Automotive Technology as my major. My dream is to work on Top Fuel or Funny Car dragsters as a crew member in the NHRA circuit. I made my choice in 2010, during my senior year at Caledonia High School. I decided to come to East Mississippi Community College because it is close to home.
What I’ve accomplished:
The photo shows me and a couple of classmates, Carlos Hawthorne and Daniel Petters, in Automotive Technology class. My instructors, Dale Henry and Grady Graham, are amazing. They both take time to explain everything to you – individually if needed. I am currently a member of SkillsUSA. I participated in the opening and closing ceremony contest at State Competition in Biloxi, where my team and I placed first. That meant we were eligible to go to Nationals in Kansas City, Mo., where we were sixth in the nation. I have enjoyed being a part of SkillsUSA. It was so much fun and such an awesome experience.
My career goal is to work on the NHRA circuit. Drag racing has been my passion since I was young. I love it so much and hope to make EMCC's Automotive Department recognizable for NHRA so any future students who wish to work as crew members anywhere can make their dreams come true without having to go away from home or spend a lot more money going to automotive schools featured on television. I always say, “In small town like Caledonia, you gotta dream big.” EMCC has helped me achieve my goals because I know with the knowledge Mr. Henry & Mr. Graham have instilled in me, I will be able to make my goal possible.
While you’re a student at EMCC, listen and ask questions. Ask for help. Don't try to figure it out on your own, or go without understanding the material, and never give up! Keep pushing yourself … you'll get it. Also never lose focus on your goals. One wrong turn can get you lost in a heartbeat.
What her instructor, Grady Graham, says:
Tara stands out among other students for these reasons. She has a positive outlook on life. She has a pleasant personality. She’s easy to get along with and willing to go the extra mile when working in small groups, as well as by herself. She is always on time. She is a role model student for other students. She has set goals she wants to achieve. She is a caring person who will help other students at any time. Tara is one of those students that you really enjoy teaching, she wants to learn as much as possible in her field of study. She will move forward very quickly in any area of study or job that she pursues.
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