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Mentoring Alliance expands college success program

Local business owners Karen and Dave Crawford know that when kids are growing up, it’s important to have an adult to look up to. That’s why when Cristian asked Karen to be his mentor, she said, “Yes!”

When Cristian was matched with Karen in his sophomore year at Sonoma Valley High School, he had high hopes to become a mechanic and to attend the Universal Technical Institute (UTI) in Sacramento. He knew that having a mentor in his life would help him reach his goal. Karen’s husband, Dave, owner of Dave’s Mufflers, entered the picture and began to co-mentor Cristian. They share the same passion for just about anything that has wheels.

Cristian spent many hours in Dave’s shop learning about mechanics, how to repair engines, as well as the day-to-day responsibilities of a shop owner. Cristian explained, “I learned how to weld and cut metal with a blowtorch. I’ve also seen cars go from a rust bucket to show-car grade. Having this experience at Dave’s shop has confirmed my passion to make a career out of working on cars in the future.”

Dave and Karen added, “We love helping Cristian build character. The mentoring experience has been beneficial for us. We’ve had a lot of fun exposing Cristian to activities and new adventures in life. It makes us feel better about ourselves to help kids out.”

Cristian is enrolled in his first semester at UTI and focusing on automotive and diesel engineering. Now it’s up to him to put the “petal to the metal” and study. The Mentoring Alliance was happy to support Cristian with a college scholarship to help him fulfill his dream.


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