Last year, Alexandra Androsik dragged herself out of bed extra early to attend her mechanical engineering class at Magnificat High School. But she wasn’t doodling on notes or dozing off during lecture. Instead, she and three other classmates teamed up to take apart and rebuild a Honda CB350 motorcycle under the direction of Molly Vaughan and Brian Schaffran through their nonprofit Motogo. Now, 16-year-old Androsik is nurturing a previously undiscovered passion for mechanics.
The environment was so different. It was a garage, no desks, no board. I don’t do well in a typical classroom. I really benefited from being out of my chair and using my hands.
Coach Molly and Coach Brian were super nice. They made me feel special and confident about myself, like I was good at what we were doing. They took the time to help everyone understand.
The first week we went over the tools we were going to use. We went over the motorcycles. We started taking it apart, putting everything in bags so we wouldn’t lose everything.
I loved it. It’s something that I feel like I can use more in my life, and I can say, “I can change a tire,” or “I can change my own oil.”
I never considered doing anything in this field. I’m considering taking mechanics or engineering to study in college. Not many women work in mechanical engineering. It was really cool to be one of those girls.
When people think about motorcycles and mechanical engineering, they don’t think that women would be in that role. I thought it was really cool that I got to be part of that, and I can break those rules. — as told to Abigail Cloutier