“I’m shaking,” Crista Wyatt said. “I can’t even believe what’s happening right now.”
A culmination of hard work paid off for one William S. Hart Union High School District student when she won a car at College of the Canyons Monday.
The Canyon High School junior thought her chances were slim to none, and at one point told her father “There’s no way, I might as well just leave.”
Then an opportunity landed in front of her.
The 2013 Nissan of Valencia Car Giveaway presented a unique opportunity for more than 4,000 high school students who have demonstrated academic excellence.
“They called my name and I thought no way,” she said.
Four students were chosen and given keys to start the 2013 Nissan Versa. A pair of students failed to start the car before Wyatt’s key worked.
For Wyatt, whose 97% attendance record and GPA easily exceed the contest’s requirement, the new car is a fitting reward for her academic performance.
“I’ve definitely put in a lot of hard work at school, and I’m glad I won the car,” she said. “I’m going to drive it around and just be happy I have a new car.”
“I think any business, any dealership that is as successful as we are should give back,” said General Manager Daniel Sterkel. “We wanted to give back to the school district and the kids.”
Strekel strongly believes in incentivizing positive actions and looks for different ways to do so.
“We want kids to show up in school, so if you show up 97 percent of the time, you’ve got a shot to win a new car.”
Eleventh and twelfth grade students free of suspensions that held a GPA of 2.0 or more were eligible to enter the contest.
As a father of four, Sterkel takes into account the amount of labor that goes into school work.
“I know it’s hard work,” he said. “I rarely saw my daughter when she was their age because she was always doing work.”
The night’s other big winner was Hart senior Asia Antoniuk who took home a $2,500 scholarship. Antoniu is headed to the Air Force Academy later this summer.
The dealership, which underwent a management shakeup two and a half years ago, has given out $75,000 in the last year with a majority of the stake going to local schools.
“They need to be rewarded,” Sterkel said. “And I’m glad to do it.”