In 2015, students repaired and donated eight vehicles with an additional 14 vehicles already in the works for 2016. Since the inception of the overall Recycled Rides program in 2007, members of the National Auto Body Council have donated over 1,000 vehicles.
"Through Recycled Rides for Schools, students realize that their chosen profession, collision repair, is one that is admired and needed by the local community," said Bob Medved, chair of the Recycled Rides for Schools program. "This fosters pride in those students when they can see the positive effect their work has on people in need.”
Students participating in Recycled Rides for Schools are involved in all phases of the project. Vehicles are initially donated by insurance, rental car, salvage or auction companies. In addition to repairing the vehicle, students collaborate with businesses to solicit contributions of parts, materials and services and help review candidates for the vehicles.
The program has provided students with confidence and also valuable experience working with industry professionals.
“Being a part of Recycled Rides is a life changing experience not only for the recipients but for those of us working on the vehicles. It is great to see all of the talent from the various parts of our industry come together for such a great cause,” said Nickey King, a student from Washburn Institute of Technology, one of the early adopters of the Recycled Rides for Schools program.
“I have learned from working on the Recycled Rides project that hard work and determination really pays off in the end. As the vehicle was being presented to the recipient I was instantly over joyed and proud to see my work make a difference in someone's life,” added Tim Shoben from Forbes Road Center and Technology College.
The 13 schools currently enrolled in Recycled Rides for Schools include:
• Central Nine Career Center – Greenwood, Indiana
• Cerritos College – Norwalk, California
• Chesterfield Career and Technical Center – Chesterfield, Virginia
• Des Moines Area Community College – Ankeny, Iowa
• Forbes Road Career and Technical College – Monroeville, Pennsylvania
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• Greenville Technical College – Greenville, South Carolina
• Holmes High School – San Antonio, Texas
• Kishwaukee College – Malta, Illinois
• Manhattan Area Technical School – Manhattan, Kansas
• Oxford Hills Technical School – Oxford, Maine
• Ranken Technical College – St. Louis, Missouri
• Washburn Institute of Technology – Topeka, Kansas
• Western Nevada College – Carson City, Nevada
“It is gratifying to see so many more schools and instructors who recognize the value of teaching career skills as well as social responsibility,” said Chuck Sulkala, executive director of the NABC. “We encourage more schools to join their efforts to help ensure a future generation that exemplifies the professionalism and integrity of collision repair professionals."
For more information about Recycled Rides for Schools, email ProgramManager@NationalAutoBodyCouncil.org.