Vehicles for Change

Time to Fly

Twenty-eight-year-old Terrell Ervin has had a lot of experience cleaning cars – he’s been honing his craft since he was twelve years old. “Every Saturday my grandmother would make my brother and me wash her car, so it would look nice when she went to church,” said Ervin, “She was very meticulous. She would make us go over the car again if she didn’t like what she saw. It was second nature to me.”Ervin joined the Center for Automotive Career’s (CAC) detailing program four weeks ago, and will be graduating from the program, along with two of his peers, today. Ervin is part of the CAC’s first cohort, which was referred to the AAC by the Center for Urban Families/STRIVE. Before STRIVE, Ervin had always identified as the class clown. STRIVE taught him to be serious about himself and his work.

“I would go through life thinking I’m a good person – I don’t get in trouble, I don’t break the law – but it’s deeper than that,” reflected Ervin, “You have to be a wise person, be an intelligent person and pass on that wisdom without the foolishness.”

“I had to look at what I was doing for society,” he continued, “How to be more productive in order to pass it on. When you put positive things out there, it impacts everyone. Life really is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent what you do with it.”

With such a strong grasp on the big picture, it’s easy for Ervin to see that his knowledge of detailing will transfer to other fields as well.

“Let’s say I’m working at a rental car company,” said Ervin, “And I go to pick up a car and I know that it hasn’t been cleaned right. I can get it fixed right there and save time and money.”

Ervin has a long list of goals for himself, a list he started when he turned twenty. Among them: go into real estate, own his own body shop and earn a pilot’s license.

“I’ve always just wanted to fly,” said Ervin.

We have confidence he will.

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