Tony McClam, 22, of Deerfield Beach, FL, is enrolled in the Youth Automotive Training Center with hopes of gaining skills to build his own car and work in the automotive service industry. He was one of the students who volunteered at the center's fourth annual Cool Wheels Car Show.
The show, staged at Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach, featured more than 500 cars and helps build awareness of the program, Executive Director Terry Routley told Jennifer Shapiro-Sacks of sun-sentinel.com.
Routley added that there had to have been at least 3,000 people at the show, checking out the vehicles.
The nine-month, tuition-free program is for 16- to 21-year-olds, most of whom are considered at risk and disadvantaged, Routley told Shaprio-Sacks. Basic automotive repair skills, academic remediation, GED preparation, job preparation and life skills, including finances, dealing with authority, health and fitness, resumes, interviews and filling out job applications can be gained at the event.
Students also are given daily lunches, a mechanic's uniform, counseling and a professional tool box that they can keep upon graduation, Shapiro-Sacks reported.
McClam told Shapiro-Sacks his life would be significantly worse if it wasn't for the support of the people heading the program.
For more information, visit www.Yatc.org.