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YATC: Welcome, Class 37!

Youth Automotive Training Center“You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who never can repay you.”

The Youth Automotive Training Center, located in Deerfield Beach, Florida, recently kicked off their school year. YATC “trains and educates at-risk youth in basic automotive repair skills, academic remediation, job readiness and life management skills. The goal of the program is to prepare young adults who are at a disadvantage in their lives to become self-sufficient, productive, law-abiding citizens.” YATC boast more than a 90% success rate.

I had the pleasure of attending the students’ first day. As I looked around the room, I spied a sea of hopeful faces and bright eyes. The new class listened attentively as they watched YATC’s founder, Jim Moran, give an inspirational speech via video. Although I have seen the video many times before, this man’s words still fill me with a warm, fuzzy feeling. Jim said the students were selected out of 70+ applicants and are the cream of the crop. When the students heard this, I saw their lips curl up and eyes widen. I could sense their pride, and I would guess the class was deeply touched.

As the morning progressed, Colin Brown, CEO of JM Family Enterprises, followed by Jan Moran, President of The Jim Moran Foundation, and then Larry McGinnes, President of the YATC Board of Directors, also provided the students with words of encouragement and insight. I watched the captivated audience and smiled.

Those of us in attendance got to meet the new class. We shook their hands, answered their questions, and encouraged them to show up and put their best foot forward. As I talked with the students, I noticed a lot of passion for all things automotive. I hope the excitement that lit up their eyes continues to grow as the school year progresses. They will be faced with challenges, but supported by caring staff and volunteers. Each student will be given tools to move forward and change the course of his life. Witnessing the transformation is an amazing experience.

I wish Class 37 the best of luck as they embark on their journey…

Learn more about YATC.

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