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Massachusetts high school students repair donated vehicle for Afghanistan refugee



Thanks to a combined effort through a charity and a Massachusetts high school, a man now living in the Bay State received a vehicle when he needed it most.

Superintendent David DiBarri announced today that Northeast Metro Tech Automotive Technology students repaired a vehicle that was donated to a refugee from Afghanistan via the non-profit organization Second Chance Cars.

The refugee immigrated to America after assisting U.S. forces during the war in Afghanistan and cannot be named or photographed due to safety concerns. He received support from Second Chance cars to help him get to work and to transport a young child.

The refugee, since coming to America on a military transport plane and then settling in Massachusetts, had been getting to work at his night-shift job using car-sharing services, the cost of which was unsustainable.

Thanks to the refurbished 2006 Honda Accord he was presented by Second Chance Cars, the refugee is now driving himself to work, saving money, and has even been able to pick up overtime to increase his family’s income.

Students in the Northeast Metro Tech automotive department repaired the car’s front bumper cover, rear bumper reinforcement, and made plastic repairs to a rocker panel cover. They also refinished both bumpers and the trunk lid using the skills they’ve learned in their pathway.

Among the students who did the most work on the car are juniors Emilio Alfaro, of Revere, and Antonio Hernandez, of Chelsea, and sophomores Zayleah Carmenatty, of Chelsea, and Isabel Archilla, of Chelsea. Instructors Robert MacGregor, Dan Pero and Sal LaFauci oversaw the work.

The Accord was the fourth vehicle that Northeast Metro Tech students have refurbished in collaboration with Second Chance Cars, a Concord-based nonprofit that provides refurbished, affordable used cars to low-income veterans and others so they can get to work.

“Dan Holin and his organization have given us the wonderful opportunity to enrich the collision repair learning experiences of our students by adding an element of service to the community,” said Collision Repair and Refinishing Department Head Robert MacGregor. “I especially love that the students get to participate in the awarding of the vehicle to see first-hand the impact their work and achievements have on the recipients. I believe that the experience provides a greater sense of relevance and purpose to their work, and a stronger connection to their community.”

“Northeast Metro Tech students and staff allow us to fix the donated cars we get professionally yet very affordably,” said Dan Holin of Second Chance Carrs. “We literally could not fulfill our mission of getting good people to work without their support!”

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