Greater Lawrence Tech Students Refurbish Car for Disabled Veteran

Automotive Technology students, from left, Alexis Cabrera, of Methuen, and Manuel Rosa and Joeliz Rodriguez of Lawrence, all juniors, stand in front of a 2008 Toyota Prius they repaired as the family of a disabled veteran the car was provided to checks out the car at right. (Courtesy photograph.)

Greater Lawrence Technical School students, working with the nonprofit Second Chance Cars, this week presented a refurbished Toyota Prius to a disabled veteran and her family.

The car was unveiled to the family of a fully disabled U.S. Navy veteran, Desire, whose four-year-old daughter Nivicari suffers from cystic fibrosis and congenital heart defects that required reconstruction of Nivicari’s heart.

Automotive Technology students Joeliz Rodriguez and Manuel Rosa, of Lawrence, and Alexis Cabrera, of Methuen, all juniors, contributed to mechanical work on the 2008 Toyota Prius, replacing a tie rod, belts, brake lights, wipers, rear shocks, turn signals and a tire pressure sensor, in addition to balancing and aligning tires and changing the oil.

“I feel proud,” said Cabrera, who hopes to continue his studies after high school to become an engineer. “It was an honor to be able to pass something good like this along.”

Nivicari explored the car as soon as it was unveiled, giving a thumbs up and looking through the back window of the hatchback as a Cabrera, a junior in the automotive technology program, attached a license plate.

“This really helps our family get further in life, as it will allow my husband to commute to work and help our daughter get to all of her needed doctors’ appointments,” Desire said.

Second Chance Cars is a Concord-based nonprofit that provides refurbished, affordable used cars to low-income veterans and others so they can get to work.

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