Estrella Mountain Car Club donates show proceeds to West-MEC students


Western Maricopa Education Center (West-MEC) -- a public career technical education district with a Glendale campus at 5487 N. 99th Ave. -- received donations for student scholarships from the Estrella Mountain Car Club’s “Cruiz’n to the Lakes” Car Show.

Proud car owners headed to the Starpointe Residents Club, 17665 W. Elliot Road, in Goodyear, to see who would take home one of the trophies manufactured by West-MEC students.

“I built my own car -- lots of the guys built their own cars. That got us thinking, ‘Why aren’t we educating kids nowadays to work on cars or learn a trade?’” Estrella Mountain Car Club member Lou Brensahl stated.

That question led Mr. Brensahl and other members of the car club to see what education options were available to their community. After learning about the career training programs at West-MEC, they contacted Marilynn Babyar, director of West-MEC student services, to see how they could work together to support students in the Estrella Foothills area.

“West-MEC programs have a small registration fee, but it can be a hardship for some families,” Ms. Babyar stated. “Seeing a need, they offered to donate the proceeds from their car show. But they don’t just donate money, they are student advocates.”

The car club originally supported students solely from Estrella Foothills High School, 13033 S. Estrella Parkway, Goodyear, but as the car show has expanded, so has the host’s generosity. The donations from 2019’s “Cruiz’n to the Lakes” show will help students across the Buckeye Union High School District enroll in one of 26 career training programs.

“When this whole thing started, there was only 10-15 students from Estrella Foothills High School who went to West-MEC. This year, there were 65 applications,” West-MEC lead recruiter Maya Milhon stated. “It’s grown for a variety of reasons, but students are learning that some of the barriers are being removed.”

West-MEC is a joint technical education public school district that focuses on career and technical education (CTE) programs that prepare students to enter the workforce and pursue continuing education. West-MEC CTE programs provide students opportunities to earn college credit and industry credentials.

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