Shop Manager Mentors Deaf Student in Auto Body Internship - BodyShop Business
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Shop Manager Mentors Deaf Student in Auto Body Internship

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The kid is a lightning-fast texter. And oh yeah, he’s pretty darned good at auto body work, too. He’s Tim Arnold, a 19-year-old deaf student participating in a three-week Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) auto body internship at Whiteman Chevrolet in Glens Falls, New York.

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Arnold arrived at the shop in November with an interpreter, but according to the story in The Post-Star, he prefers to communicate via texting, which accounts for his rapid-fire finger skills.

Shop manager Jack Perna was more than happy to become a mentor for Arnold. In fact, he has served as a mentor for over 11 years to many special needs students, which was part of the reason he was selected.

"Other mentors might not want to deal with issues like deafness because it could require more effort," BOCES instructor Brian Sheerer told The Post-Star. "They’re not only running the business but they’re helping this
kid. It’s a trust; we knew Jack and Larry (Perna’s brother) would
do a good job."

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For three weeks, Arnold cut metal, performed body work and primed
and painted autos. On the last day of his internship, he tackled the restoration of a 1970 Camaro. 

"My guys here have a better understanding that people come in and
you have to deal with what’s handed to you," Perna told The Post-Star. "It takes a guy like Tim to
change everybody’s attitude in the shop toward what their abilities
are, what they can learn in a little bit of time."

To read the full story in The Post-Star, click HERE.

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