Fifteen years after receiving her diploma from Dallas Can Academy, Latonya Smith was able to donate a car to the program that changed her life. Smith graduated from Dallas Can Academy in 1998 and made a promise to herself that one day she would give back to the school that placed her on the path to success.
Smith dropped out of the high school she had been attending in ninth grade after becoming pregnant with her son. In 1998 Texans Can Academy was offering a General Education Development (GED) program where students could enroll in classes to prepare for the GED test. Texans Can Academies now only offers a full curriculum to graduate students with a State of Texas high school diploma.
Smith never believed that she would be able to finish high school, however she finally decided she needed an education and wanted to graduate in the same year as her previous classmates. She enrolled at Dallas Can and, with the help and encouragement of her teachers, she worked very hard to earn her GED.
“After receiving my GED, I wanted so badly to one day become the woman that was able to donate a car to Texans Can Academies,” said Latonya Smith. “The idea of being able to own a car, let alone donate one, was so farfetched to 19 year-old me. But I wanted to give back.”
Smith went on to graduate from college in 2002 and since graduation has been employed as a respiratory therapist. She suffered from asthma, but excelled in science, which is why she became a respiratory therapist. Recently, she had a car that she wanted to donate and realized that she was going to be able to call Cars for Kids and once again experience a wish become a reality with the school by donating her car to the nonprofit organization.
“It dawned on me that I could reach my dream and donate the car to help the program that did so much to help me,” said Smith. “I finally became the woman that could donate a car. I called Cars for Kids right away to give back to Texans Can Academies and saw a second dream come true with them.”
Cars for Kids offers a turnkey program for donating cars, trucks, motorcycles and heavy equipment – running or not. The nonprofit provides free towing, your car is gone, you receive a tax write-off and you helped teenagers in our community. With the public’s donations, more than 4,000 young Texans per year who needed a quality education in classrooms with very low teacher/student ratios. All donations benefit Dallas/Fort Worth/Garland Can Academies’ eight tuition-free, open enrollment and public high schools of choice.