Why We Do It

The reasons why this program is needed are many, and its impact spreads across a wide array of issues affecting high school youth. Do you think our restoration program sounds great but are wondering what the impact is? Keep reading to learn more…

Our Impact

Participating students have logged over 2200 hours of time and counting “under the hood” learning through hands-on experience in our vehicle restoration projects

Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) come alive for our students as they learn the how and why of automotive systems such as engines, brakes and electronic controls

Our students spend their after school hours in a safe, positive learning environment, gaining technical knowledge and learning important life lessons in problem solving, persistence and patience.

Education, Workforce and Youth Development

There is a real need for after school programs featuring STEM-centered activities with a technology and engineering focus. According to a 2014 Afterschool Alliance survey of 30,720 households, only 30 percent of parents reported that their child attends an after school program that offers such programming.
Engineering, physics and math are integral parts of the automotive technology trade. When our students work on elements of the restoration such as rebuilding an engine they are seeing these subjects in action, in a hands-on learning environment.

Parents surveyed in the same Afterschool Alliance study reported that less than half of their children’s after school programs offer workforce skills development such as teamwork, leadership and critical thinking.
The group dynamics of our restoration project inherently encourages development of these skills, which will prove to be priceless assets as these young people enter the workforce.

Active, hands-on learning benefits a broad spectrum of students and provides growth for students often left behind in a traditional classroom setting. Learning subjects in a hands-on way can also lead to an increase in examination performance for these students, according to a 2013 study by the US National Academy of Science.
Getting students under the hood is active learning in its purest form. Our students learn by doing, and we can use these hands on activities to illustrate more abstract STEM concepts helping a broad spectrum of students excel.

Importance of After School Programming

A relatively small number of after school programs serve high school aged students, so availability of these programs is important. Benefits include increased academic achievement, prevention of drug use, and increased likelihood of obtaining work and gaining life skills experience.(1)
Our program serves high school aged youth, providing a supportive environment where they are developing technical and interpersonal skills.

Teens who do not participate in afterschool programs are nearly three times more likely to skip classes than teens who do participate. They are also three times more likely to use marijuana or other drugs, and are more likely to drink, smoke and engage in sexual activity.(2)
Students in our program are spending their after school hours in a safe, constructive and beneficial setting where they are encouraged to pursue their automotive interests.

Workforce and Industry

In 2016 the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 7.8 million Americans are unemployed, while 5.4 million jobs are unfilled. A lack of proper education and training has left young people entering the workforce unprepared, especially in the automotive industry.
The technical skills students develop while working on our restoration project vehicles help arm them with knowledge that will make them a valuable addition to the workforce.

The automotive industry is a limitless world of opportunity, and represents one of the largest collection of small businesses. According to SEMA the automotive aftermarket alone is a $41 Billion dollar industry.
Our program supports young people interested in being a part of this industry and helps expose them to the various opportunities in this field.

The collector car market is also a multi-billion dollar industry. Hagerty reported that in 2013 the value of collector cars sold at auction in the U.S. reached a total of $1.3 billion. This doesn’t include person to person transactions, which account for the lion’s share of all collector car sales.
By engaging our students in the restoration of a classic vehicle we’re providing exposure to this specialty while teaching skills applicable to every aspect of the automotive field.

Community Concerns

Working families are concerned that their children have a safe place to go during the after school hours while parents are at work. Parents concerned about their children’s afterschool care miss an average of eight days of work per year, costing businesses up to $300 billion annually.(3)
This issue is an impact to the economy but also an impact to each family raising a young person while working full time. Our program provides a safe and supportive environment for high school aged youth to spend their after school hours.

Every day 2,805 children enter the juvenile justice system in the United States.(4) Although there are many reasons why our youth fall into this circumstance, the activities young people engage in during the critical hours of 3pm to 6pm – the hours after school ends and parents typically return from work – can have a direct impact on this statistic.
By offering students a productive activity during these hours our program provides an alternative to activities that could have a lasting negative impact on a young person’s life. Their participation in the program also helps shine a light on the potential for their futures, and gives them a role in a project in which they can experience pride.

1) “Research-Based Practices in Afterschool Programs for High School Youth” Janell Holstead, Mindy Hightower King, and Ashley Miller
2) YMCA of the USA, March 2001
3) youth.gov and Brandeis University, Community, Families and Work Program, 2004 and Catalyst & Brandeis University 2006
4) Children’s Defense Fund, The State of America’s Children 2017 Report