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Giving a Ride & Restoring a Life: UTI Student Receives Newly Restored Vehicle

Jul 12, 2022 ·
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In today’s fast-paced society, having a way to get from point A to point B is essential to building a future.

UTI student and veteran Gabby Martinez knows this firsthand. With a family to support, a full workload and busy school schedule, she has a lot on her plate — but now, having reliable transportation is no longer something she has to worry about.


Keep reading to learn how Caliber Collision and GEICO teamed up to donate a vehicle to give a ride and change a life.

The NABC Recycled Rides® Program

The National Auto Body Council (NABC) Recycled Rides program is a community service initiative in which collision repair companies like Caliber Collision collaborate with insurance partners and nonprofit organizations to repair and donate vehicles to families and service organizations within the community.

As the nation’s largest collision repair provider, Caliber’s purpose is to restore the rhythm of life for its customers and the communities it serves. Through the NABC Recycled Rides program, they’ve donated more than 500 vehicles to date — many of which were gifted to veterans and active-duty personnel.

For this event, Caliber teamed up with GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company), the second-largest auto insurer in the United States. GEICO was founded in 1936 and insures more than 30 million vehicles in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

GEICO provided the vehicle, and technicians from Caliber Collision donated their time to restore it to be good as new.

“We’re proud to team up with GEICO and the National Auto Body Council to restore the rhythm of the life of a very deserving veteran,” says Bruce Dennis, Regional Vice President for Caliber Collision of Arizona. “It means a lot to us at Caliber and me personally to be able to participate in an event like this.”

“There is no more rewarding part of my job than representing GEICO at the NABC Recycled Rides program,” adds Taylor Ross, Auto Damage Manager at GEICO. “I’ve been inspired by Gabby’s determination and knowing how much the vehicle is going to impact her life. We are honored to assist Gabby’s family with reliable transportation needs.”

A Well-Deserving Recipient

Recipients of the NABC Recycled Rides program are chosen from a pool of nominations, which is where Universal Technical Institute comes into the picture. UTI Student Affairs Advisor Anna Hyde nominated Gabby Martinez, 27-year-old veteran, student and mother of two.

Gabby’s story is nothing short of inspirational. She’s a six-year U.S. Army veteran who served as a helicopter mechanic. Day to day, she balances a full workload and school schedule at UTI Avondale, where she’s studying Automotive and Diesel Technology. On top of it all, she cares for her family.

“I nominated Gabby because she’s a great mother and student, and she works really hard to help a lot of people here,” Anna shares. “She really is deserving of this support for her and her family.”

Gabby currently commutes to school from Maricopa, which is about an hour drive one way. Her previous vehicle’s transmission and AC were going out, which made attending school and transporting her family incredibly challenging.

Now, thanks to NABC Recycled Rides, Caliber Collision, GEICO and Anna’s nomination, Gabby can continue chasing her dreams and building her future with a safe and reliable vehicle. UTI Avondale hosted an event to award her the new ride: a newly refurbished 2020 Honda Accord.

UTI student and veteran Gabby Martinez was recently gifted a newly restored vehicle through the NABC Recycled Rides® program.

This event brought together everyone involved — including Gabby’s husband and two young daughters. After the big reveal of the vehicle, Gabby was handed the keys and discovered a trunk full of toys for her daughters. It was an inspirational day, and this collaboration is truly a win-win for all.

Enterprise Rent-a-Car was also in attendance. In addition to catering lunch for the event, they gave a $1,000 gift card to Gabby to help support her and her family.

A Bright Future

Although we can never fully repay the men and women who have served our country, this donation is a small token of gratitude to Gabby. This vehicle will allow her to focus on her education and career as she pushes toward graduation next summer.1

“It’s a blessing in a much-needed time right now,” Gabby shares. “This car is going to completely take the stress away of trying to come up with money to fix my old car.”

“I’m excited to be able to come to school every day and actually be able to focus on school instead of everything I was stressing about,” she continues. “It’s going to help a lot and I’m excited for it.”

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1) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

2) For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit www.uti.edu/disclosures.

Universal Technical Institute of Illinois, Inc. is approved by the Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

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