Description & History

The Riding With Us Foundation works to provide scholarship and mentorship opportunities to youth interested in pursuing a career in the automotive industry.  These opportunities are provided as a result of their participation in our signature activity, the restoration of a classic automobile.  Classic vehicles are either donated to the program or purchased by the foundation to be used as the project car.  The students disassemble the vehicle, getting it ready for a full restoration, and then start the rebuilding process.  Some of the parts needed for the restoration are donated by corporate sponsors, others are purchased through funds raised or granted to the foundation.  The students learn about every aspect of the restoration through their hands-on participation, under the guidance of teachers and mentors who work with them continually through the process.  Once complete the vehicle is sold at auction, and the proceeds from that sale are awarded back to the students in the form of scholarships.

But the work being done here is about more than giving a classic vehicle new life and awarding students scholarships.  The students working on this project learn the value of being part of a team, as well as learn how to lead the team through various parts of the restoration.  Restoring an old car isn’t easy, and these students must learn to face the challenges they meet through creative thinking, persistence, skill and patience.  They also get a taste of what it’s like to make business decisions – this car is being built in order to sell, and these students must make decisions about the build with their future “customer” in mind.  The students in this program will go on to work in various aspects of the automotive industry, but the experience they get from taking the restoration from start to finish is invaluable in learning their trade.  

All of this work happens in a safe environment where these students can spend their after-school hours being part of a project in which they can take pride.  Being part of this after school program also affords these young people the chance to steer clear of the opportunities to get in trouble that exist everywhere - especially in an urban environment.  We believe that investing in students at this critical time in their lives has a strong, positive influence on their life path.  Not only do students involved in activities such as this have a better chance at success during and after high school, they are a positive influence to those around them and therefore affect their community in a positive way as well.

About the organization

The Riding With Us Foundation

Michele Fox
President and Founder
Organization’s website: