Paris McGowan, a 25-year old woman from St. Louis, has made history as the first Black female technician for the highly-acclaimed motorcycle brand, Harley-Davidson. More than that, McGowan is breaking barriers in the field that has been widely dominated by men.
Growing up, McGowan has been surrounded by a family who is fond of motorcycles. It has made an influence on her since then that she decided to apply for a job at a Harley-Davidson store two years ago.
Eventually, she was able to buy her own motorcycle that she has always wanted to become a better rider. Also with the eagerness to know how things work and fix them, she decided to be trained as a technician. Just last month, she graduated from the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute with a specialty in Harley-Davidson, making her the first Black woman to do so.
“I’m the first African American female technician to work on Harley-Davidson. You barely see any Black technicians working on Harley-Davidson, but here we are,” McGowan told KSDK News.
McGowan is grateful that the Harley-Davidson community has shown inclusivity. Aside from her, she also knows a lot of female riders, including her mother, aunts, and cousin. Despite that, some people still discouraged her because of her gender, but she continued pursuing what her dream really is.
“I was told by a lot of people to just be a nurse instead,” McGowan continued. “Don’t listen to anybody that shuts you down from your dream. Do not, because they don’t know you. They don’t know where you came from.”t
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