South Atlanta students learning careers in auto mechanics

- Students at South Atlanta High School are lining up to take a new class. Auto mechanics is all the new rage.

State of the art equipment was donated by Kauffman Tire and their partners and now these students are getting the hands on training to graduate high school and jump right into a career.

Senior D'Angelo Anderson didn't know much about cars until he started taking the Automotive Basic Maintenance and Light Repair Lab in January, now he wants to make it his career.

"Now that I've become a part of the class and had hands on experience with cars, I've found that I actually enjoy doing it,"
D'Angelo says.

Students are learning the trade, with shiny, new hands on equipment. "We are very grateful that Kauffman Tire and their partners were able to donate over $150,000 worth of equipment to South Atlanta High School to make a lot of these kids dreams come true as far giving them a a jumpstart on being an automotive mechanic," says instructor Debraca Tenny.

"I love the fact that we learn something in the classroom and then we get to go right out into the shop and interact and actually execute work as a team on the thing we just learned," Ericka McRae is a senior taking the class for fun.

The class is a career pathway, educating students on the path to well paying jobs and careers. "Everyone is not going to be a doctor or a lawyer, these skills right here are for students that know what they want to be. They want to be a mechanic," adds Tenny.

It's not just male students, female students make up half the class. "We have a lot of girl power over here at South Atlanta High School and they're doing very well," adds Tenny.

Ericka has already lerned skills she can take with her after graduation, like how to work a scissor jack and change her own tire. "If I'm ever stranded on the expressway or something like that, then I can always use my scissor jack to change my tire. Little things like that go a long way," she explains.

Tenny says she has students that are so eager, they come in during their lunch breaks, they stay after class, or she even meets them on saturdays in the lab.

The class just started in January, but will be available as a three-year program starting next year. The most dedicated students can earn their Automotive Service Excellence seal, and can have the chance to take an internship or apprenticeship with Kauffman Tire. It's just one of many Career Pathway classes offered in Atlanta Public Schools.

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