07/06/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/06/2021 08:27
Annual Celebration Recognizes Achievements and Perseverance of 14 Graduates
The Youth Automotive Training Center (YATC), a unique nine-month automotive training program that provides intensive instruction and hands-on training in automotive theory and practical skills, is proud to announce the graduation of the Class of 2021.
View photos with captions from the 2021 Youth Automotive Training Center graduation
The 14 graduates in this year's class remained committed to the program, enhancing their automotive and academic skills, despite many obstacles they faced during the pandemic. They studied technical automotive principles along with foundational academic classes as they learned in socially distanced classrooms and sometimes attended classes virtually. This year's class size was reduced to accommodate the need to space students for safety.
'Our students are used to overcoming adversity and unforeseen challenges,' said Executive Director Terry Routley. 'This class was asked to be extremely flexible and responsive to change. It was incredibly important and they did an excellent job in staying focused and committed throughout the year.'
YATC was established by automotive legend and founder of JM Family Enterprises Jim Moran in 1984 with a mission to train and educate at-risk youth in basic automotive repair skills, academic remediation, job readiness and life management skills. The goal of this program is to prepare at-risk young adults to become self-sufficient, productive, law-abiding citizens. Equally valuable to life skills, academic education and automotive training, the school provides emotional support from the caring staff - three of whom are YATC graduates - with an aim of helping students re-route their paths.
'No matter how many mistakes you've made in the past, YATC showed me that I can turn my life around and make better decisions for my future,' said 2021 Graduate Ryan Lucas.
Guided by YATC's dedicated educators, four of this year's graduates earned their high school diplomas and two are pursuing their diplomas following graduation. During the commencement ceremony, 11 graduates were awarded scholarships for continuing education, six of whom received special recognition for notable achievements.
Nicholas Gonzalez, 20, received the Bruce Rossmeyer Memorial Kick Start Scholarship Award. Established in 2009 by Jan Moran in memory of Bruce Rossmeyer, this recognition includes a full-tuition scholarship to attend a technical/vocational school. Rossmeyer, founder of Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Harley-Davidson and Daytona Toyota, was a devoted friend and generous supporter of YATC. Gonzalez also received an Outstanding Attendance Award for demonstrating exceptional commitment to the program.
Other standout award recipients include:
- Ryan Lucas, 19, was presented with the Jump Start Award for excellence in automotive knowledge and repairs.
- Alester Arscott, 17, was honored with the Turnabout Award for making significant changes in all areas of his life.
- Dembhard Brooks, 21, and Orville Stewart, 21, received the Volunteer Service Award in remembrance of Lucy Torrance.
- Raul Cruz, 19, was awarded the Volunteer Service Award and Outstanding Attendance Award
YATC also awarded The Rossmeyer Family the annual Jim Moran Award. Terry Routley presented the recognition to Sandy Rossmeyer and Shelly Rossmeyer-Pepe in acknowledgment of their family's extraordinary dedication to the school and its students for more than 30 years.
'Mr. Moran always believed in my husband Bruce Rossmeyer and by his example showed him and our family what that can do for someone,' said Sandy Rossmeyer, president of Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Harley-Davidson. 'Supporting YATC is our way of continuing to show our support to the program. Mr. Moran was always a hero to Bruce.'
Thanks to the continued support of friends like the Rossmeyer family, YATC is able to support students in a variety of ways. Applicants to the program are referred to YATC through multiple avenues, including the departments of Juvenile Justice and Children and Families, as well as by other YATC graduates, local clergy and word of mouth. Many of these young people have experienced poverty, crime, abuse and addiction even before reaching their teen years. There is no cost to attend as the program is sustained solely by generous donors and the school's annual fundraiser. Graduates remain part of the 'YATC family' and continue to receive assistance as they pursue their dreams.
The organization's annual fundraiser, the YATC Classic, is scheduled for November 12 and 13. Registration will open in August. For more information about the YATC Classic or the program, visit www.yatc.org or call 954.428.0909. YATC is located at 399 SW Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in Deerfield Beach.