Tech Students Give Back

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March 5, 2020—Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical High School and Second Chance Cars in Lexington, Mass., held a ceremony on Tuesday, Feb. 25 to award a U.S. Coast Guard veteran a 2004 Volkswagen Beetle that the school’s automotive technology students refurbished in recent weeks, reports the Wicked Local - Watertown.

The veteran, Aris Lopez, 31, of Haverhill, Mass., is a single father of two who had been riding his bicycle 13 miles each way to work or paying for rides from Uber or Lyft. It’s the first time he’s owned a car, which he can also use to visit his children who live in New Hampshire.

“I’m so grateful,” Lopez said. “It was 26 miles a day and a five-day work week. It takes a toll and it starts to add up. To not do that commute in the way that I had to, it takes a load off.”

Minuteman’s automotive students repair between 150 and 200 vehicles for the public each year in the school’s auto shop, where Tuesday’s ceremony was held. In the past year, they have also refurbished three vehicles that were donated to Second Chance Cars, which provides autos at low-cost to veterans and people recently released from prison.

Students have previously conducted more complicated repairs on vehicles for Second Chance, which included replacing brakes and air conditioning compressor. In one instance recently, the students refurbished a van that was donated to a veteran who is a single mother of six children.

Looking for more inspiration on how to give back? Here's a look at three shop owners that do just that. 

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