“Life gave me lemons and I made lemonade,” said Worley. “I wanted to be in auto repair early in my life but at the time it was financially impossible. So I decided to become a truck driver instead.”
Due to the downturn in the economy, Worley lost his job as a truck driver in 2006.
“When I found out I was permanently laid off, I decided the timing was perfect to follow my dream,” Worley said. “The first thing I did was talk to GNTC and enroll in the Automotive Collision Repair program.”
Growing up, Worley had worked on cars with his father and developed a passion for repairing them.
In 1987, when Worley was 13 years old, his dad purchased a 1965 Ford Mustang to restore.
Worley decided he would help repair the car so that he could drive it his senior year.
Little did Worley know, his dad had a surprise in store. When Worley left for football camp, his dad had the car painted maroon metallic as his graduation present.
Worley had to purchase a new deck lid for the car 20 years ago but never had the chance to paint it.
“Now that I have trained experience in auto repair, I’m going to restore my Mustang again,” Worley said. “I am going to finally paint the deck lid and put it on the car after 20 years.”
Worley painted the deck lid during one of his classes at GNTC and plans to restore the rest of the car after graduation.
“It makes my dad proud to know that I still have the car after all this time,” said Worley. “Every car that I buy is like a canvas. I can paint it and restore it any way I want.”
Worley said he picked GNTC based on the school’s reputation.
“I live closer to other colleges but chose to come to GNTC because they have the best programs,” Worley said.
He also credits teacher Charles Kelley for his success.
Worley was born and raised in Calhoun. He still lives there with his wife Allison, who has a 1965 Ford Mustang as well.
After graduation, Worley wants to open his own automotive repair shop.
“Stuart is a great student and I am proud to have him in class,” said Kelley, program director and instructor of Auto Collision. “I wish him the best of luck in the future.”
Worley will receive his diploma in Automotive Collision Repair in January.