Good News: Auto detailing class helping students work after high school

Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 1:12 PM EDT
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RIDGELAND, S.C. (WTOC) - Proof that car detailing has become one of the most popular subjects at Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School can be seen in the shine of freshly cleaned cars and in the school’s hallways.

“It’s to the point where one of the kids walks around with a Windex bottle in one pocket and a rag in the other pocket,” James Daniels said.

Daniels’ class is designed for students to take away more than course credit. A program offered through the Jasper County School District’s Special Services Department originally to teach employability skills to students with disabilities, is now open to all students and has become the talk of the school.

“I really like washing cars. Because I like it, it is fun,” James Wright said.

“It’s been a lot of kids who come through here who learn valuable lessons, life lessons. Here, we teach kids to be self-sufficient, how to think for themselves, to make the right decisions and judgments of chemicals to use to do the necessary services to the vehicles.”

Working with school district fleet vehicles and personal cars from the community at $25 each, the program has become a self-sufficient business that covers the cost of its cleaning products.

It has also helped many students stand on their own after high school.

“I have some previous students who are working doing detailing for various dealerships around the area and some that are just doing it on your local weekend. One kid works at a grocery store and he told me the valuable lesson that he learned about paying attention in my class as well as staying focused and continuing to finish the task at hand.”

And for the first time this year, the program will continue into the summer, with Daniels and a handful of students working a couple of days each week to clean cars, create opportunities and provide a sense of satisfaction.

“Oh man, the pride is awesome. They feel very good about themselves when they look back and see the finished product or come together as a team to complete something. That blows them out of he water. They are really excited about it.”

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