ST. LOUIS, MO., November 27, 2012 – According to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation, more than 15 million Americans have difficulty securing the transportation they need. Unfortunately, with the economic downturn, this problem continues to grow. Ranken Technical College saw this as an opportunity to make a difference for a local family in need, particularly during the holiday giving season. The college recently collaborated with Recycled Rides, a national gifting program, and the National Auto Body Council (NABC) to identify, secure and refurbish a 2006 Ford Taurus. Area Resources for Community and Human Services (ARCHS), a not-for-profit organization that designs, manages, and evaluates education and social service programs, selected the Bobo family of O’Fallon, Mo. to receive this generous gift of reliable transportation. The family will receive the car during a special ceremony next Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 2 p.m. on Ranken’s campus.
“We’re really excited to participate in the Recycled Rides program, collaborating with various local businesses to help a deserving family in our community,” says Stan H. Shoun, president of Ranken Technical College. “This was a perfect fit for our automotive division programs. More importantly, our students get a chance to see how their, hands-on education and training will benefit this family in need.”
Recycled Rides is a ‘green’ program that emphasizes vehicle and parts recycling. The program recruits collision repairers, insurers, paint suppliers, parts vendors and others, to contribute in their own, yet synergistic ways. Ranken worked with the Recycled Rides program and NABC to help secure the vehicle donation as well as donations from other businesses, including Esurance, Reliance Auto Body and Dave Sinclair Ford.
Supervised by Ranken’s automotive faculty experts, more than 30 Ranken students spent 80 hours – approximately $5,000 in labor costs – refurbishing the vehicle. The vehicle required extensive work, including disassembly and reassembly; replacing tires; repairing hail damage; painting; performing a tune up; replacing the brakes; checking the battery; and changing the fluids. In addition to refurbishing the vehicle, a number of Ranken faculty members and students raised money to purchase clothing, toys and various household necessities, which will be gifted to the Bobo family on Tuesday.
Selected by the ARCHS, the Bobo family, including Antonio and LaTasha and their five children, has overcome numerous obstacles. Several years ago, Antonio made some poor choices that landed him in prison as a convicted felon. After his release, he vowed to create a better life for his growing family. That’s when he discovered the ARCHS’ Prisoner Reentry program. With ARCHS’ support, Antonio
enrolled at Ranken, where he graduated with a certificate in automotive light maintenance training in 2008. Antonio’s training and experience paid off. Today, he’s the assistant manager at the Jiffy Lube in University City, where he’s worked hard to earn the trust and respect of his co-workers and customers.
“We reviewed a number of qualified candidates for the Recycled Rides program before selecting Antonio and his family,” says Wendell E. Kimbrough, Chief Executive Officer at ARCHS. “Despite the challenges he’s faced, Antonio has ultimately persevered. He’s taken advantage of certain educational and career opportunities, helping him realize his full potential. That’s why we felt that Antonio and his family truly deserved this car.”
The Bobo’s refurbished vehicle comes into their life at a particularly momentous time. First, they are slowly getting back on their feet after suffering a devastating house fire last year. They are also preparing to welcome their sixth child any day now. The new car will provide Antonio with reliable transportation to and from work, while LaTasha can use the family van to take the kids to school.
“When we found out that we were receiving this amazing gift, we were really shocked,” says Antonio Bobo. “I’ve definitely had some tough times in my past, but I’ve worked hard to get on the right track so I can provide for my family. I am very thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given and look forward to what the future holds.”
About Ranken Technical College
Since 1907, Ranken Technical College has served the St. Louis region by providing skilled labor through hands-on, state-of-the-art training in a variety of technical disciplines. The non-profit College prepares students for successful careers in their chosen technical fields by placing emphasis on technical training, general education and professionalism. The College offers Associate of Technology and Science degrees in five core divisions—Automotive, Construction, Electrical, Information Technology and Manufacturing, as well as Bachelor of Science degrees in Architectural Technology and Applied Management. Ranken is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. For more information about Ranken Technical College, visit www.ranken.edu or call 1-866.4RANKEN.
About Recycled Rides
Recycled Rides is a nationwide community service project whereby members of the National Auto Body Council (NABC) repair and donate recycled vehicles to families and service organizations in need, in their own communities. A ‘green’ program that emphasizes vehicle and parts recycling, Recycled Rides recruits collision repairers, insurers, paint suppliers, parts vendors and others, to contribute in their own, yet synergistic ways. Recycled Rides’ vision is to recycle and deliver hundreds of cars each year to families in need identified through collaboration with local charitable agencies. For more information about Recycled Rides, visit www.recycledrides.org.
About the National Auto Body Council
The National Auto Body Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the image of the collision industry. Our ongoing and continued success is a direct result of the efforts and support of our sponsoring companies and membership. Please contact NABC directly for membership information. Call 1-888-667-7433 (888-66PRIDE) or go to www.autobodycouncil.org.
About Area Resources for Community and Human Services (ARCHS)
ARCHS is a not-for-profit organization that designs, manages, and evaluates education and social service programs with an annual economic impact valued at $46.6 million. The organization’s mission is to improve the lives of Greater St. Louis’ residents by convening strategic community partnerships. ARCHS’ network of 300 funding and program providers positively impacts the lives of thousands of the St. Louis area's most vulnerable residents every day with a focus on lifelong learning for Pre-K, K-12, Family and Community Education. ARCHS serves as the official “Community Partnership” for Greater St. Louis on behalf of Missouri - one of 20 similar organizations across the state. For more information about ARCHS, please visit www.stlarchs.org.
# # #