Lou Von Thaer didn’t know any engineers growing up outside Topeka, Kansas, so he couldn’t quite see what exactly they did. But he knew he liked taking radios and record players apart and putting them back together.
“My grandfather made it to sixth grade. My dad made it through high school and worked his way up to be a maintenance manager at Goodyear, and worked really hard his whole life, and did great things,” Von Thaer says. “I wasn’t around a lot of people who went to college. And it was something that I knew I wanted to do, and I was lucky I was pretty good at school. I had an adviser at school who said, ‘You should go into engineering because you’re good at math.’ I borrowed money and worked minimum wage jobs and put myself through college, and it just changed my life. I realize how lucky I’ve been.”
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