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First-Ever ‘Art of Success’ Event Raises Funds for the Youth Automotive Training Center

More than 150 people recently spent a rainy Saturday touring the Youth Automotive Training Center (YATC) as part of the school’s new, two-part donor appreciation and fundraising effort: The Art of Success. Designed to help the local community get to know YATC while also showing appreciation to long-standing partners of the program, this event generated the funds necessary to operate YATC for a full year.

DOWNLOAD hi-res images with captions from the 2019 Art of Success

Following the open house, which included tours of the YATC facility; meet and greets with current students, graduates and staff; vehicle displays; family friendly activities; and a delicious barbecue lunch, supporters continued the festivities with an exclusive evening reception at the Boca Raton Museum of Art. Approximately 200 guests enjoyed an array of cocktails, passed hors d'oeuvres and food stations, while enjoying the art and atmosphere, as well as testimonials from current and former students. The evening donor appreciation event was aimed at extending the deep gratitude that YATC Founder Jim Moran always had for every individual who supports the school and its mission to help troubled youth change their lives.

“High school ate me alive. I fell into a group where I started skipping school, smoking weed, getting into trouble and eventually I got arrested,” said Antonio Porter (18), current YATC student, during the evening reception. “YATC was an opportunity, a second chance. When you walk into YATC, you automatically know it’s not a regular school. They’re caring, they’re supportive and I will continue to get what I can mentally.”

In further support of the YATC mission, Art of Success attendees, JM Family Enterprises Associates and friends of the organization purchased $10 raffle tickets for the chance to drive off in a 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid donated by JM Family Enterprises and Southeast Toyota Distributors. During the event, Brent Burns, president and CEO of JM Family, selected the winning ticket from among 5,000 entries, which belonged to Jim Pope, a regional fixed operations manager for Southeast Toyota Distributors. 

“We are so happy with the response to our 2019 Art of Success event, both from the local community and our loyal sponsors,” said Larry McGinnes, chairman of YATC’s Board of Directors. “It is important for us to fulfill Mr. Moran’s vision by continuing to give young men and women an opportunity to gain skills and knowledge that will allow them to build productive, successful lives, and this event is certainly a step in the right direction.”

Since its inception in 1984 by automotive legend Jim Moran, 725 graduates have completed the nine-month, multi-faceted YATC curriculum, 179 of whom have received their high school diplomas and more than 90% are gainfully employed, furthering their education or serving in the Armed Forces. Forty-seven graduates hold Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications qualifying them as certified technicians, while 54 graduates on scholarship through YATC have earned an associate’s degree and six have obtained a bachelor’s degree. Alumni of the model program, along with their families, continue to receive assistance from YATC after graduation to keep them on the right track for success.

Art of Success major donors included Founding Sponsor: The Cross Country Group; Super Big Heart Sponsors: Auto Carrier Express and Wanda and Jim Moran; Big Heart Sponsors: 22squared, Centurion Auto Transport, Maus Nissan/David Maus/Gib Dannehower, O’Brien Automotive Team, and Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona Harley-Davidson and Daytona Toyota.

“Every dollar donated to YATC is greatly appreciated, but we must especially note our Founding Sponsors, Sid & Deanna Wolk of The Cross Country Group and Vicki Shafer of Centurion Auto Transport who have been generous supporters since the very beginning,” said Executive Director Terry Routley. “YATC is grateful to all the sponsors who joined the Art of Success team this year.”

About the Youth Automotive Training Center

Established by Jim Moran in 1984, the mission of the Youth Automotive Training Center is to train and educate at-risk youth in basic automotive repair skills, academic remediation, job readiness and life management skills. The goal of this program is to prepare young adults who are at a disadvantage in their lives to become self-sufficient, productive, law-abiding citizens. Students are referred to YATC in a variety of ways, including through the Departments of Juvenile Justice and Children and Families, as well as YATC graduates, local clergy and word of mouth. For more information about the Youth Automotive Training Center visit www.yatc.org or call 954-428-0909. YATC is located at 399 S.W. Third Ave., Deerfield Beach, Fla.