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YATC Cool Wheels Car Show

Youth Automotive Training Center“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

In 2006, I started temping at JM Family Enterprises. Every Wednesday, my boss and one of the other women in my department tutored at the Youth Automotive Training Center (YATC). I was curious about their tutoring sessions, which led me to ask a lot of questions. I learned that YATC was aligned with my philosophy of educating individuals and giving them the resources they need to build a better future for themselves. I wanted to tutor, too.

In September 2008, I was able to turn my desire into a reality. I have been tutoring and volunteering for YATC ever since, which brings me to the Cool Wheels Car Show.

Fun fact: YATC boasts an 89% success rate.

YATC trains at-risk youth in basic automotive repair skills, academics, job readiness, and life skills. The Cool Wheels Car Show was launched to network and partner with people in the automotive industry who can potentially hire YATC graduates. Although many students will utilize their automotive repair skills in the workforce, others will pursue college or jobs unrelated to cars. Thus, companies such as Publix, Home Depot and Target would also make great hiring partners. Passion and ambition will ultimately determine each student’s career path.

Fun fact: 88% of graduates have not experienced any legal trouble, and 85% have not spent any time in jail.

YATC looks for hiring partners in the community because every youth who walks through its doors has a colorful Youth Automotive Training Center Bushistory. Finding a job can be quite challenging when the job application asks, “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?” and the answer is “yes.” YATC prepares students for jobs and will never send anyone to an interview until he or she is ready to work.

Fun fact: 96% of graduates have not used drugs since graduation.

The 30 students selected each year have the potential to succeed. They go through a vigorous interview process, and the best are chosen. They are drug tested. They come from the rough part of town. I have tutored several students, and they are sweet and well-mannered. They hold the door open, insisting I walk into the room first. Their file does not match the kindness I experience when I am with them. But, then again, if you or I were born into the same circumstances as they were, how would we look on paper? Probably not much different. These students WANT to turn their lives around, and YATC gives them a second chance.

Fun fact: YATC was founded 30 years ago by automotive legend, Jim Moran.

On Sunday, January 19th, the Cool Wheels Car Show provided an opportunity to build awareness of YATC in the community. And, it was fun. More the 360 cars were in attendance at the open show, including classics, muscle cars, antiques, imports, hot rods and trucks. Jason Taylor, former Miami Dolphins football player and YATC supporter, lent YATC two of his cool cars to be displayed at the show. DJ Eugene kept the party going all day, and a live performance by the Blues Brothers Band entertained the crowd. There were raffles galore, a silent auction (which included a motorcycle) and trophies for the various car categories. There were food trucks, demonstrations by the Broward Sheriff’s Office and the Club Scouts participated with their pinewood derby racing cars. There was something for everyone!

Thank you to all of the sponsors and volunteers who made this event possible. A very special thank you goes out to Joe and Mona Aliseo for all of their efforts in driving the Cool Wheels Car Show and hosting a great event.

Learn more about YATC.

Jason Taylor's 67 GTO   YATC Cool Wheels Car Show

Blues Brothers Band    YATC Cool Wheels Car Show

Jason Taylor's 67 GTO  Jason Taylor's Shelby GT500

YATC Cool Wheels Car Show   YATC Cool Wheels Car Show

YATC Cool Wheels Car Show    YATC Cool Wheels Car Show Trophies

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