October 22, 2020

Church group provides HOPE for auto students

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Savannah HOPE representative Rev. Donovan Myers (centre, right) presents a cheque to Mark DeMercado, owner of Superior Auto. The money will be used to help students attend the course trip to Jamaica. Also pictured are the course students, teachers, and other representatives of Savannah HOPE who helped raise the money.

Savannah HOPE (His Opportunity for People Empowerment), a new group attached to Savannah United Church, stepped in with a cheque for CI$2000 to help students on Superior Auto’s mechanic training programme attend their upcoming trip to Jamaica, a necessary part of their course accreditation.

Savannah United Church Minister, Rev. Donovan Myers joined by other Savannah HOPE members, presented the cheque to Superior Auto’s owner, Mr. Mark DeMercado at the repair centre’s training room, where they were able to meet with other students on the one-year course. The course provides a solid grounding in all aspects of car repairs and maintenance, and gives the students an internationally recognised qualification which can help them either get a job in a garage, or perhaps start their own garage some time in the future.

Savannah HOPE was launched in June last year with the primary goal of reaching the vulnerable and at risk youth in the community in order to empower them to have positive meaningful lives.

Rev. Donovan Myers, Pastor of Savannah United and a founding member of Savannah HOPE explained the new group’s vision: “While we may be limited in our initial outreach, we hope that the combination of financial help to these youths along with counselling and mentoring, as well as good Christian examples provided by those involved, will reach those that sincerely want to succeed.”

Student Sonny Powell, 17, just such an individual: said, “I’ve been doing this course for the past five months now. I’m doing it to learn more about automotive mechanics – to get better qualifications.

Fellow student Brandon Thompson, 18, said: “I wanted to do this course because I’ve always been interested in performance cars. I want to learn in a garage situation and maybe branch off and run my own garage in the future.’

The course is run by Superior Auto, but also relies on contributions of money, time and expertise from many people in
the community.

One of the volunteer teachers on the course, Andrew Thomas, said: “I teach mathematics and it’s part of the syllabus here to develop the young mechanics, and it’s absolutely necessary for them to handle these high-tech vehicles.”

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