A license to drive, and a new car
Kasey Coyle just got her first car, but unlike most 16-year-olds she won her new wheels.
Teachers at Park City High School nominated 378 students for Ken Garff’s Keys to Success Program. Students had to demonstrate a commitment to academics through improved grades, attendance or outstanding performance in another area. Coyle said she was nominated for making the high honor roll after earning above a 3.7 gpa.
The 378 students were awarded key cards and chose qualifying prizes such as ski passes, a bobsled ride or symphony tickets. The nominees were narrowed down to a group of 50 students who lined up on stage and drew random keys from a basket, each taking a turn to try to start the car.
Before inviting the contestants to try their luck at winning a cherry red 1994 Honda Del Sol, Rick Folkerson, Vice President of Marketing for Ken Garff, addressed the students.
He told them about a student who was in danger of being expelled from school. The counselors gave him a second chance and said they would give him a key card for attending class 30 days in a row. For his qualifying prize the young man selected a ski pass to the Canyons Resort, which opened his eyes to the different opportunities education could offer him. The student’s grade point average went from a 0.0 to a 3.1 gpa and he is graduating this spring.
"We hope we can support you in striving for academic excellence," Folkerson said.
Then he invited the 50 selected students on stage to draw a key and try to start the Del Sol. As the line dwindled and fewer students remained, Coyle climbed into the driver’s seat and heard the ignition turn after she tried her key.
After the assembly, excited friends rushed the stage to congratulate Coyle, who said red is her favorite color.
"I am so excited," Coyle gushed.
She phoned her dad just a few minutes later to give him the good news.
"Guess who won a new car?" she asked him.
After some persuasion she convinced her father it wasn’t a joke and that she was the proud new owner of a Honda Del Sol.
This is the second year of Ken Garff’s Keys to Success program. Every school in the Wasatch area participates, and one lucky student wins a car.
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The unemployment rate in Summit County in September rose slightly and the state upwardly revised the August figure, evidence job gains in the Park City-area have largely stalled.