Toyota donates vehicles to the South Delta School District to enhance automotive training

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 6:18 PM CDT
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ROLLING FORK, Miss. (WLBT) - Toyota is helping prepare Delta students for careers in the automotive industry with gifts that will improve their skills.

Thursday corporation’s officials traveled to Rolling Fork, along with Congressman Bennie Thompson, for an event to change the future of students wanting to play vital roles in the industry.

Toyota donated four 2019 Corollas to the South Delta School District. The vehicles will be used by automotive students to learn the latest technology.

“It’s just a passion with me,” said South Delta Vo-tech student Gwendell Leassear. “It’s just something I enjoy doing.”

The high school junior eagerly looked under the hood to check the oil on one of the new cars his automotive class will soon be studying. He and other students will be learning the inner workings of modern automotive technology.

“I like working on cars. Since I was young I liked working on cars,” added Leassear. “And being in this class, it’s good experience because I like it. I get to do what I want to do.”

South Delta Tech students have been learning automotives on 1995 models. This will bring them into a new era.

“Not just giving back to the community but we’re also building a pipeline for the future in automotives, be it in manufacturing, automotive repair, what have you. So it’s really, I think, a two way street,” said Toyota MS Vice President Emily Lauder.

Career Technology Education director Adrian Dorsey reached out to Toyota to make the students better prepared for the workforce.

“They were doing what they could with what we had, but we wanted to give these students the opportunity because I feel like if we don’t serve the students, who will?” said Dorsey. “This gives those students the opportunity to be in those shops and have the opportunity to service them and have a viable career.”

“This is the Mississippi Delta. The perception is somehow our children and the people don’t deserve the best,” said Congressman Bennie Thompson (D) MS-Second District. “Toyota’s investment with South Delta School District destroys that myth.”

Students like Leassear hope they can start working under the hoods of the new vehicles as soon as possible.

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