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Special guest shares stories from his road to success with North Kansas City auto tech students

KANSAS CITY, Mo. --   Imagine the road to success as being like a spiderweb.

There are many different lanes to get to arrive at people’s goals. That's the picture one man painted for a group of metro students on Wednesday, as young gearheads got a special guest.

They say small beginnings can lead to big dreams. Students at North Kansas City Schools' Auto Tech program met with one of the giants in the automotive accessories industry on Wednesday morning. Mitch Fogle, CEO and President at Lund International, talked with a dozen students. Fogle’s company markets over 21,000 accessories for cars and trucks.

“The first Shelby Cobra started beside me,” Lund said, while sharing his past experiences with students.

Fogle grew up on a farm in northern Indiana, and says he worked his way up from being a union autoworker to a captain of industry.

“I know what it's like to have to pay the light bills and things like that,” Fogle said.

A camera crew rolled, recording Fogle's story for replay at industry conventions. North Kansas City Schools students will be featured in that video, which will be seen by thousands.

“I believe opportunities in life come from those who do work hard. Put yourself in the right position, so that when that door opens, to have whatever skill set is needed,” Fogle told FOX 4 News on Wednesday.

Those students from the metro, most of whom are studying to work in the auto industry, soaked up every inspiring word. Most of them confessed they didn’t know Fogle’s name before meeting him, but they knew his products well.

“He didn't grow up to be something he didn't want to be. He grew up to do something he really enjoyed loving to do. That really inspired me,” Ashley Erskin, a high school sophomore said. Erskin says she’s targeting a career in automotive design.

“The possibilities are endless. It goes from here to there. It's unlimited. I want to take full advantage of it,” Tyrese Monge, a high school senior, who wants to work in auto body repair, said.

Fogle says the garage he started working in many years ago was much smaller than the Ctech shop, which is located near Vivion Road in the Northland, that these high school students get to learn in. He says that should be fuel enough to drive them anywhere their career takes them.

Thousands of auto tech professionals will see the students in that video. Fogle's story will be played back at the 2017 SEMA Convention in Las Vegas this fall. That's said to be the biggest auto specialty products convention in the world.