Friday, 30 June 2006 17:00

Albuquerque dealership rewards students with perfect attendance

Written by Karyn Hendricks
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It started out as a casual conversation between colleagues bemoaning the fact that there were not enough new, young technicians in the work pool. Kids either dropped out of school or passed on the auto body business for other vocational opportunities. In Albuquerque, only one out of every two students graduates high school. What could encourage students to not only stay in school, but to be on time and present every day? 

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A surprised Micah Livingston (center) reacts to learning she is the winner of a car in a drawing held at Quality Jeep Chrysler. Her achievement -- perfect attendance for a full school year.
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From left to right: Co-owners of Quality Dealerships -- (l to r) David DiLorenzo, Annette DiLorenzo Thayer, Vincent DiLorenzo and Charles DiLorenzo -- pose with Sebring winner Micah Livingston (middle). 

Annette DiLorenzo, co-owner of Albuquerque's Quality Jeep Chrysler, found one answer. She came up with the idea of giving away a car to a student with perfect attendance. She reasoned that students who come to school every day are likely to transfer that work ethic over into their jobs when they graduate.

Those students who qualified were invited to a drawing for a car held at Quality Jeep Chrysler at the very end of the school year. One of the requirements for winning the car was to be present at the drawing. Ironically, the winner almost didn't attend the event because she lacked transportation!

Of the fourteen students with perfect attendance (out of 3,700+ students), ten attended the event which consisted of a couple of smaller raffles (GM socket sets, Jeep hats) and the grand prize drawing along with refreshments. The winner had three cars to choose from - an '05 Grand Am, a Chrysler Sebring or a PT Cruiser. Cars were chosen that were relatively economical to run and maintain.

Winner Micah Livingston, Stanley, N.M., commuted to community enrichment school where she was named valedictorian - and never missed a day despite the grueling trip. She is studying to be a registered nurse. Livingston chose the Sebring. Her advice to students in future classes, "Skip senior ditch day. It will be so worth it."

Livingston also received an extended service contract compliments of Jennifer Barry and Jeff Frye of API Contracts, along with a year's insurance premium courtesy of Mike Mazzella Insurance.

This inaugural giveaway was open only to seniors. DiLorenzo is lobbying to have all high school students included starting freshman year. A student could have four opportunities to try for the car - just by going to school each day.

DiLorenzo commented: "I had a selfish motive for establishing the drawing. I want kids to stay in school, because I need dependable employees."

Family business

And there are many employment opportunities available within the Quality Dealerships alone.

Quality was started by Annette's grandfather in 1957 as a single point Pontiac dealer. Charles DiLorenzo and his brother Jim purchased the shop and ran it until the third generation of Annette and her brothers David, Vincent and Paul DiLorenzo were ready to take over.

The Quality Dealerships have grown to include Quality Pontiac Buick GMC, Quality Jeep Chrysler, a new Pontiac used car store, used car supercenter and Sun Ranch Motors in Los Lunas. Quality North opened in November. The company is expanding its interest in used vehicle sales.

Gary Ricci runs the Parts Department and Bill Elliott, the Collision Repair Center.


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