A vehicle repaired by Northeast Metro Tech’s auto body and automotive technology programs will now be driven by a local veteran, thanks to a partnership between the district and Second Chance Cars.
The car was presented to Maria Roca, of Haverhill, MA, a 19-year National Guard veteran and single mother of three children, on April 6 at Northeast Metro Tech in Wakefield, MA.
Those in attendance included Roca and her children, administrators, teachers, students, Second Chance Cars Director Dan Holin, Massachusetts National Guard Coordinator Gregory Sacca and Wally Johnston and Jane Hotchkiss of Concord, MA, who donated the vehicle to Second Chance Cars.
“Taking care of three young kids in a small apartment during COVID has been incredibly hard. Then my car stopped working and everything just became a lot harder,” Roca said. “When my support team from the VA and National Guard introduced me to Second Chance Cars, I was excited but not sure if it was real. I’m relieved to say that we got a car---my kids are super excited and I can now go shop and get to my medical appointments.”
During the last few months, a small group of students worked with instructors to repair a Ford C-Max hybrid car for Second Chance, an innovative local nonprofit that awards affordable donated cars to working people.
“I couldn’t be happier to be working with Second Chance Cars,” said instructor Paul Murphy, who oversaw administrative aspects of the project. “It gives us great satisfaction to know that our students are sharpening their automotive service skills while also contributing to a great cause.”
“It’s always an exciting opportunity for our students to work on a project that gives back to the community, and this has been no exception," said Superintendent David DiBarri. "We’re thrilled to have had this chance to support Second Chance Cars’ work and for the hands-on and remote learning experience it gave our students.”
Northeast Metro Tech had begun conversations before the pandemic with Second Chance Cars to have students repair a vehicle during vocational classes.
However, student participation was temporarily delayed because...