ROLLING FORK, Miss. (WJTV) – Students in the South Delta School District received upgraded materials for their automotive department. On Thursday, Toyota dropped off four Mississippi-built vehicles at the South Delta Vocational Complex in Rolling Fork, which is an area that Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said is often forgot.
“This is the Mississippi Delta. The perception here somehow is that our children and our people don’t deserve the best. Our young people are some of the most talented people I know, but we have to give them the equipment to work with,” Thompson stated.
The program has seven students, who are learning how to repair cars. Their newest car was a 1995 model. Adrian Dorsey, the school’s Career and Technical director, said this makes it harder for students to learn, because the technology in current cars has changed.
“They were doing what they could with what we had, but we wanted to give them the opportunities. Because I feel like if we don’t serve the students, who will?” Dorsey said.
The four new vehicles were used to train some of Toyota’s employees. Dorsey said he reached out to the company after seeing them donate some of the vehicles to a school in North Mississippi. After a month of planning, Toyota delivered the last of their extra training vehicles to the school in Rolling Fork.
“This is a part of our DNA really at Toyota. We like giving back to the communities in the states in which we do business,” said Emily Lauder, Vice President of Administration for Toyota.
The students said they cannot wait to start working on the new cars.
“It means a lot to me and everybody else that takes this class, because it helps us advance in the workforce,” said Jonathan Nicholson, an 11th grade student.
With the new vehicles, school leaders said students will have the skills to work in dealerships and mechanic shops nationwide by the time they graduate high school.