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Recycled Rides for Schools Donates Vehicle to Student Who Walked Three Miles to Nearest Bus Stop

Students at Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Neb., fixed a totaled car and got to award the vehicle to one of their classmates.

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Damingo Burks, a Diesel Technology student at Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Neb., received the keys to a 2010 Dodge Avenger.

The Recycled Rides for Schools program took an usual twist in Omaha, Neb.

Students at the local technical school fixed the totaled car and got to award the vehicle to one of their classmates.

Damingo Burks, a Diesel Technology student at Metropolitan Community College, received the keys to a 2010 Dodge Avenger. The committee selected Burks because of his great need for transportation to finish his education.

Farmers Insurance donated the salvage car to be used in the Recycled Rides for Schools program. Metropolitan Community College Auto Collision students then made the repairs as part of their curriculum.

After repairs, the MCC Foundation worked to identify a deserving recipient through a selection committee comprised of the key players involved in the donation and refurbishment of the car. The internal review process examined the students’ needs and selected Burks because of his story.

A resident of Council Bluffs, Iowa, Burks has been relying on public transportation to get to and from class. The closest bus stop to the campus he attends is nearly three miles away, making it difficult to get to and from class.

Margaret Keith of CARSTAR Auto Body was on the selection committee that selected Burks. She says it wasn’t an easy choice.

“I told my peers to get their tissues ready because it wasn’t going to be easy selecting a single student from a lot of very deserving ones,” says Keith. “I wish we could have given them all a reliable car for transportation to and from class.”

Local businesses donated to make the car donation possible. Businesses that provided donations of parts and services were LKQ, Keystone, Safelite AutoGlass, NTTR Towing, Charlie Graham Body and Service, CARSTAR Auto Body, Enterprise Holdings Foundation, Charity Cars, Metropolitan Community College Foundation and the National Auto Body Council.

Recycled Rides for Schools is a community service program of the National Auto Body Council.

The car presentation was part of Metropolitan Community College’s Auto Collision open house at the Applied Technology Center. The two-day event gave potential students and their families an opportunity to tour the facility, meet the faculty and industry partners, and learn more about the accelerated program. The open house featured vendors, competitions, prize giveaways, ICAR certifications and more.

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