Photos by Chris Garcia

Written by Chris Garcia

On February 27, HonCC’s Automotive Technology celebrated alumni Dansen “Kaleo” Carvalho Jr. for winning the 2018 NAPA/ASE Technician of the Year. According to NAPA, criteria for contenders are (but not limited to) being an AutoCare technician, being a Master ASE Technician and community/industry involvement. For more information, see the NAPA ASE Award website at

Kaleo obtained his Advanced Level Specialist, Master Automobile Technician, Medium/Heavy Truck Technician, and Undercar Specialist certificates while attending HonCC. Each certification test ranges from $100 to $120 to take. Kaleo passed thirteen of them.

“Keep your mind stuck on automotive and don’t steer away,” Kaleo advised to new and upcoming Automotive Technicians. Kaleo currently works with his father at Dansen’s Auto Repair & Towing in Waianae.

Kaleo said that working in a shop is a different environment from a class setting. In the classroom, instructors are available for assistance, and there is no time constraint, Kaleo explained. However, in the shop with his father, things are different. “My dad had no patience,” he said. Kaleo was expected to complete a task “1000 times over, correctly and fast.”

NAPA also awarded Dansen’s Auto Repair & Towing with the NAPA AutoCare Center of the Year. According to NAPAʻs website, contending shops are pooled from across the nation and judged on a multiple requirements, such as; ASE certification types, the trained staff, and online/social media presence. (

Finally, Kaleo said to succeed in the Automotive field; “Forget everything else and do automotive; When you wake up, think automotive. When you eat lunch, think automotive. When you go to sleep, think automotive.”

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