KEARNY MESA, Calif. – A Southwestern college student just received a new set of wheels thanks to a program that refurbishes wrecked cars and gives them new life.
Jorge Palacio was rewarded with a newly refurbished vehicle from Caliber Collision’s Recycled Rides program. He was presented with a 2006 Mazda Friday. Parts were donated by local businesses and volunteers spent hours working on the car.
Jorge is one of the 4,100 homeless students who are trying to make ends meet in San Diego County.
“I don’t know it just blows my mind, I can’t even talk about it,” said Jorge Palacio.
Palacio graduated from Hoover High and is now enrolled at Southwestern College with dreams of becoming an EMT. He usually spent five hours a day on the public bus getting to school and work.
‘Children and Youth in Transition’ Teacher Susan Kellett said she was excited to nominate Jorge for the car. She said despite everything he has been through, Palacio has never complained or said anything negative.
“He said earlier when I picked him up, I don’t have to ride the bus to get to work tonight.”
Palacio works from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. and by the time he would get home, it would be 1:30 a.m. Then he would have to get up at 6 the next morning to start the whole day over again.
Palacio also received $1,000 in donations to help with gas and a new laptop.