On Saturday, December 13, 2014, the Gaithersburg High School community witnessed sales for refurbished cars and computers. This past Saturday, February 21, another round of sales appeared at Damascus High School. Montgomery County Students Automotive Trades Foundation (ATF) and the Information Technology Foundation (ITF) administered both sets of sales. The ATF is a non-profit foundation established by Montgomery County Public Schools to promote and advance the interests of automotive education through the establishment of a student-run licensed used car dealership. The ITF has the same objective with a student-run computer sales business.
“The idea of the sales was a major part in the establishment of the programs, which are operated as non-profit foundations,” said Kelly Johnson, a career preparation teacher who helped organize the sale events. For the computer sales, customers could purchase a full computer system, including a monitor, a keyboard, a mouse, and speakers. For the car sales, customers took a test drive of the available cars to help with the purchase decision. In addition to selling cars and computers, attendees could fill out a lottery ticket for a chance to win a car of their choice.
Although the computer and car sales were a resounding success, the program offers more benefits than meets the eye. “Besides the benefit of the entrepreneurial experiences for the students,” Johnson commented, “proceeds from the sales are used to sustain the educational programs.”
These programs include both the Automotive and Information Technology Foundations. “For the computer sales the proceeds allow the ITF to purchase testing vouchers for students that allow them to take nationally recognized certification tests at no-cost to them. These tests count towards college credits and provide students with certifications that employers look for when they enter the business environment,” said Johnson. “For the automotive students, the sales from the cars go towards purchasing parts and tools for refurbishing cars for future sales.”
Johnson is a strong promoter of the sales. “I have different roles throughout the sales process,” she noted. “I publicize the sales and encourage people to come out to support MCPS students. I train ATF and ITF students on how to be great salespeople, and work with students to emphasize the importance of coming out to the sales and being part of the sales process and working with clients.
If you are either interested in or want to learn more about these sales, you can contact Kelly Johnson at Kelly_R_Johnson@mcpsmd.org. The last sales event of the year will take place on May 9, 2015, from 9 to 11 a.m. at Thomas Edison High School. Be sure to visit the event, take a test drive, and show your support of Montgomery County’s Student Foundations!
Article by MoCo Student staff writer Corrina Davis
Image by MoCo Student staff artist Valencia Fu