Success Story: Deron

Deron is a bright young man with a positive attitude and many goals for himself. He is currently attending college and is working for the Department of Children and Families. Deron’s teen years, however, were not typical. Deron is one of many local youths aging out of the foster care system.

Reaching young adulthood with no family standing by to provide support when starting life on your own can be daunting, especially without reliable transportation. Part of Wheels’ mission commits to partnering with other community efforts, as we often offer the last link in the chain to an individual’s independence. In keeping with that goal, Wheels began a new program, Wheels to the Future, in partnership with local agencies Connected by 25, Hillsborough Kids, Inc., Camelot Communities and Ready for Life. Our goal is to help area youths aging out of foster care to become productive adults by affording them reliable transportation to school, work and community events and to offer them the life experience that accompanies the responsibility of personal car ownership.

Thanks to an Eckerd Family Foundation grant, partially matched by the Rotary Club of Tampa, Deron and three other young adults were the first to receive “new-to-them” Volvos as part of this program. The Wheels to the Future program is being continued this year with a grant from the DeBartolo Foundation.

Deron was enthusiastic and very grateful to receive the keys to his future:

“My mom always said that there are some decent people in the world, and I never believed her. Today has shown me that not only can people be decent but people can be wonderful. The donation of this car to me is one of the best things I could have ever hoped for. People like you who do so much and all you ask for is nothing are beyond wonderful. I’d also like to thank you for showing me that people still care about others.”