Word is spreading quickly that organizers of this year’s Langley Good Times Cruise-In are looking to set up a scholarship aimed at helping young people get into the trades.
Just weeks after Cruise-In president Riccardo Sestito announced that the annual charity car show wants to focus more on youth, and is seeking to set up an ongoing scholarship fund, he’s been inundated with calls and queries.
“It’s just kind of getting legs now,” Sestito said. “I have so many people now who would like to contribute to this thing.”
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Cruise-In has always encouraged young people to engage in the car culture, and to share in the love of collecting and working on automobile. But in August, the team behind Langley’s huge charity car show upped the anti.
They announced plans to start a Cruise-In scholarship they hope will encourage more youth to consider careers in the automotive industry and other trades.
While it’s still just in the formative stages, Sestito envisions it will be an annual scholarship awarded to a student keen on pursuing a career in some aspect of the trades.
Most scholarships, Sestito said, are focused on academics, where he and a few others on the board want to help those who are not necessarily going to pursue college or university. Instead, he wants to offer something to help those interested in a lifetime career in the trades.
“We want to create a legacy here. We have to build something that will keep giving in the years to come,” said Sestito, who has already brought the United Association Local 170 Plumbers & Pipefitters Union on board in their push to engage more youth.
UA170 will likely be contributing in some way to the Cruise-In scholarship initiative, said business development representative Ryan King, a steam fitter by trade.
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They’re joining what King called a real push to get young men and women involved in the hands-on careers, and he’s excited to team up with Cruise-In.
And, in recent days, Sestito has also been contacted by a few labour unions and provincial politicians anxious to help get the scholarship going.
“We’re going to do something this year, for sure,” Sestito said. “I just have to get past Cruise-In, and then we’ll focus on making this happen.”
A lot of details still need to be ironed out, including the amount of the annual scholarships, who will contribute, and the selection process and how far afield applicants can live. They don’t plan to restrict the scholarship to Langley students only, Sestito insisted.
“Just trying to get youth into trades, that’s the whole goal of this,” he said. “It could turn into something pretty significant, because it seems to have all the right people coming aboard.”
More information is available on the Langley Good Times Cruise-In website.
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