SAN DIEGO — As one of 6,000 homeless or unaccompanied youths in the San Diego Unified School District, Jorge Palacios could have easily dropped out of school. But he didn’t. Now, his determination to graduate and move on to a college education will be rewarded when he receives keys to a newly refurbished vehicle from Caliber Collision’s Recycled Rides program.
Caliber Collision’s Recycled Rides program partners with insurance companies to donate refurbished vehicles to individuals and service organizations in need. Jorge’s new vehicle was donated by Esurance and refurbished by Caliber Collision associates who volunteered personal time to repair the car and solicit donations from local businesses to help with expenses such as gas and insurance.
Jorge was nominated for Caliber’s Recycled Rides program in his last semester at Hoover High School and is now enrolled at Southwestern College. Without a car or permanent housing, Jorge’s typical day starts at 5:00 a.m. and often ends at 1:00 a.m. as he juggles lengthy bus commutes between classes in Chula Vista and a part-time job in City Heights.
Jorge spends his limited spare time studying and waiting to use shared computer resources at public libraries. Despite these hardships, he is determined to achieve his immediate goal for Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification while he completes his college education…