SEMA has launched a new program designed to support and engage high school students in the automotive hobby. As part of the pilot program, high school students will oversee and execute an entire project vehicle, including tracking time, expenses and associated resources, using a used vehicle purchased and donated by SEMA. The project will create a self-sustaining program with the completed vehicle sold to raise money for the purchase of another vehicle that can be used for a similar project the following school year.
“Our hope is that the one-time purchase and vehicle donation will initiate an ongoing program at the school and allow hundreds of students to participate over the years,” said Wade Kawasaki, SEMA board of directors chairman. “We are optimistic and excited about this program and look forward to seeing what the students accomplish.”
The pilot program began last month with the delivery of a 2015 4WD Jeep Wrangler Unlimited to students at the Santa Fe Early College Opportunities (ECO) Auto Shop Program in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Students have begun with identifying priorities and creating a plan for the project, which will be sold by the end of the school year in May 2018.
“The Santa Fe ECO is dedicated to training and preparing students for careers in the automotive industry,” said Chris Coriz, auto collision technology instructor. “Having an actual vehicle to work on is incredibly valuable. We’re excited and appreciative to SEMA for supporting our program.”
SEMA continues to support the project and is helping to secure parts donations and volunteers to serve as mentors to the students. Those interested in supporting the project or who want more details should contact Zane Clark, SEMA senior education director, at [email protected]
As one of several SEMA programs designed to support and encourage youths in the automotive industry, SEMA hopes to be able to replicate the program at high schools throughout the country.