Tuesday, October 18, 2005
CONTACT: Nicole Cretelle
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$30,000 Volvo Grant Helps County, CAPF to Enroll Needy Youth in Driver’s Ed

Foster Teens Behind the Wheel Thanks to Volvo and "Keys to Success"

SAN DIEGO – Surrounded by sleek new cars that any teen would love to drive, County leaders and the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation (CAPF) today announced the launch of a program giving foster teens in the region the ability to get driver’s licenses. Thanks to a generous $30,000 grant from Volvo, the “Keys to Success” program was created to overcome a major obstacle to getting a license that many foster teens face, the cost of driver education and behind-the-wheel driver training at a professional driving school.

“Every teen wants a driver’s license, but not all foster teens can afford the cost of driver education at a professional driving school,” said Supervisor Greg Cox who championed the Keys to Success program at the County of San Diego. “If their high school doesn’t offer Driver Ed, foster teens are left sitting on the curb, or worse, driving illegally.” Vice Chairman Bill Horn, a strong advocate for creating the Keys to Success program said, “The County wants to give foster youth every tool for success in their adult lives. Thanks to Volvo, that now includes the mobility, freedom, and self-esteem that come from getting a driver’s license.”

Funding for the program was graciously provided by a grant from Volvo that will cover the cost of driving school and behind-the-wheel instruction for approximately 100 eligible foster teens. Bill Gaudreau, Vice President of National Sales for Volvo stated,”Volvo is honored to provide the Keys to Success scholarship to the Child Abuse Prevention foundation to offer foster youth the opportunity to participate in driver's education. Driver's education provides youth the ability to learn safe driving skills which will protect them and the drivers around them.” Special thanks also to Wes Hinkle, Owner of San Diego Volvo and Mohinder Singh, Owner of Carlsbad Volvo.

The partnership behind Keys to Success also includes CAPF who will administer the grant funds and ensure that eligible foster youth are enrolled in driver education and training. CAPF is a nonprofit organization that works to break the cycle of child abuse through prevention, education, advocacy and funding.

San Diego County has approximately 1200 foster youth ages 15–18. When asked, foster teens mention driver education and a driver’s license as their number one need and/or desire. Although State funding for foster youth provides for their general well-being (including food, shelter and clothing), that funding does not allow for such “perks” as the cost of driver education and training. The Keys to Success program will cover these costs for eligible foster youth in preparation for obtaining a provisional instruction permit and provisional driver’s license.