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Ranken student receives donated car she helped refurbish at school

ST. LOUIS - A student at Ranken Technical College in north St. Louis received a special gift today that she helped to make happen.

Chazzerene Howard, 18, got the keys to a refurbished 2011 Toyota Corolla.

Howard is in Ranken's automotive collision repair program. As part of the training, she is doing an internship in Crestwood. But Howard was having trouble getting there after she got into a crash with her truck.

So Ranken turned to its partnership with Recycled Rides, a national program that focuses on vehicle and parts recycling. Recycled Rides got the Corolla after it was totaled in a crash and hail storm.

Then the car came to Howard where students-including Howard -fixed it up.
Howard said she helped detail the Corolla.

Besides the internship, the car will also help Howard get back home to see her family in Tennessee.

"It was honestly like a really big deal to me, because that helps me and then that helps my family back home, because I do have a single mother and I was using her car to get back and forth," Howard said.

Ranken students have repaired two other cars from Recycled Rides in the past and given them to others in need outside of their program.

"This is true giving back. I mean, we've got students here from all walks of life doing all kinds of things and to be able to take a car and actually build it and give it back to their own, a person in need, what a better way to do something for somebody," said John Helterbrand, Ranken Technical College.