As a student of Carl Kingsbury’s automotive curriculum at IDEA High School, Andrew’s love and fascination with automotive technology found purpose and direction. Carl wrote: “In the summer of 2009, Andrew found out about my program and came to interview me. He wanted to see if IDEA had what he was looking for in his automotive training. In [those] two years I have seen Andrew grow into a very competent entry level automotive technician. His drive to work in the automotive industry shows in his inquisitiveness about all things automotive. Andrew derives satisfaction from learning about cars; he is professional, courteous and quick to help. His technical skills are coming along very nicely; he keeps learning new things without prompting. Andrew is currently my student shop foreman with complete access to the shop. Andrew helps me train some of the new students; as well as he pursues his own education goals. He has completed two working internships, one with Mercedes-Benz of San Diego working on and around some of the most technologically advanced vehicles on the planet. The second one was with Hi-Desert Racing (Roger Norman Motorsports). Hi-Desert Racing won the SCORE Trophy Truck Class Baja 1000 in 2008 and is a SCORE international sanctioned team. Andrew has furthered his experience by securing himself a summer job at the Marvin K. Brown auto center (They sell and service GM Vehicles). Last year Andrew spoke at the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Dinner to approximately 250 people of whom were in attendance, where he was a great hit. Mr. Jimmie Johnson himself told Andrew to apply to Hendrick Motorsports when he completed his training. Mr. Johnson said he would put in a good word for Andrew. Andrew is expected to excel [in] any position or task that he would apply for, his drive to become the one of the best in his chosen field is remarkable for a young man of his age, I for one, expect great things from him.”
Andrew graduated with honors from IDEA and was the scholarship recipient of the Automotive Hall of Fame Scholarship, Bendix Scholarship, and the California New Car Dealers Association Scholarship.
Andrew had begun to blossom into a responsible and mature adult. Mr. Christopher Roper, Andrew’s supervisor at his summer job at the University of San Diego wrote: “I managed Andrew in the same way and with the same expectations as the rest of his co-worker[s]. Andrew proved himself time and again by meeting all of my expectations and taking on responsibilities. In this library we set a high standard for organization and extreme attention to detail. Andrew immediately understood this and fell smoothly into synch with the much older college and graduate students with whom he worked.” Thomas Fox, the Service Director at Mercedes-Benz of San Diego wrote: “Here at Mercedes we don’t often have the opportunity to work with talented young people and Andrew is very talented. It is a pleasure to have Andrew as an intern in our service team.”
Andrew was currently a student at Miramar College in San Diego. He was accepted into the highly competitive Toyota Tech-TEN automotive education program and was anticipating graduation in June 2013. Dale Snow, Andrew’s supervisor at Mosey Toyota dealership, remarked that Andrew was the perfect type of employee you could wish for. “He had the right attitude, proper attention to detail, and focus that one rarely sees in a young adult. We hoped to bring him along as a master mechanic within our organization.”Andrew’s accomplishments and achievements should not outshine his personality. While Andrew might have at times appeared as a shy and unassuming young man, as he warmed up to you, you could appreciate how much he was a loving and sensitive young man. He carried a silent self-confidence about himself and he loved to laugh and he loved cars. He was here for a purpose: to bring love and joy into our lives.
Andrew is survived by his father and step-mother, Alvin and Barbara Blackshear, his mother and brother, Charlotte Watkins and Mark Watkins-Blackshear. His uncles and aunts, Stephen and Isabel Blackshear and Terry Migdal. His cousins, Javier Cruz Winnik, Tanya Esposito, Katie Zaug, and Christopher Zaug. His grandmothers, Phyllis Blackshear and Ruth Migdal. His dog, Otto.