This summer, YouthQuest provided driver’s training classes to students at International Academy of Flint and Flint Community Schools. With a new partnership with Keys in Hand, LLC, students are learning everything they need to know to get on the road safely.
Keys in Hand, founded in 2016, is led by founder Charles Walker, who has 25 years of experience teaching youth in Flint public schools. Walker founded Keys in Hand to help students learn and grow both in and outside of the classroom.
“We started six years ago with a small group of kids, but through word of mouth, we kept building over the years,” says Walker. “Now, I don’t have to worry about filling a class.”
Through partnering with YouthQuest, Walker is providing the same classes he has for the last six years to area students at no cost thanks to the generous support of United Way of Genesee County.
“This partnership is important because it gives students the opportunity to develop not only driving skills but other fundamentals such as showing up on time and committing to something,” says Walker.
According to Walker, during the segment one course, students learn everything they need to know to get behind the wheel. This includes six hours of drive time and four hours riding along with other student drivers. Then, in segment two, students participate in a three-day class, where they learn more about the responsibility of driving, including risk awareness and distracted driving.
After the second segment, students will be able to practice driving with a guardian in the vehicle. Walker notes how important it is to have this program in Flint.
“Before this opportunity came, I didn’t know much about YouthQuest,” says Walker. “But it’s a great program, and it’s great that we are helping young people get their licenses, some of whom may not have been able to afford to do so otherwise.”
According to Leslie Davis, director of Afterschool Education at Flint & Genesee Education & Talent, the partnership is one more way that YouthQuest helps prepare high school students for success.
“Learning how to drive is such an important skill in today’s world,” Davis says. “Not only does this course put students on track to earning their driver’s license, it also boosts their sense of independence.”
YouthQuest’s Drivers Training recently finished its first segment, with the second segment coming this fall.
For more information on YouthQuest, visit FlintandGenesee.org/YouthQuest.
YouthQuest is made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and 21st Century Community Learning Centers.