Every Tuesday as part of our Community Changers series,  we highlight organizations making a positive impact in our city.

This week, we caught up with a group that teaches lifelong skill sets that are highly marketable.

Jamiah Cole was heading into her junior year of high school when she found Quick and Fast Body Shop.

“I don’t know anything about cars. It definitely was a different experience,” Cole told us.  

Quick and Fast Body Shop in Frayser teamed up with the Universal Achievers Foundation. A non profit organization that saw a need in the community. Because not everyone is bound for a four year college.

“We went over a lot of things. We did changing tires, we did spray painting, coloring cars. We were able to take parts out and put new parts in,” Cole said.

Tangua Houston is the executive director. While the owner of Quick & Fast Body Shop, Mr. Rickie Mason, teaches the students the hands-on skills of body shop and collision work, and Tangua works on the soft skills portion of their program.

“Teaching them a trade that they can be able to feed their families, improve their lifestyle,” Houston said. “It’s financial literacy. I need you to understand about budgeting. I need you to understand, if you need a resume, the parts of a resume, how we put that together. The cover letter. “

Genevieve Payne’s favorite part of the class was building a car from scratch.

“We had to order the parts and ordering the parts we had to make sure the would be here on time and that they were the right parts,” Payne said.

Ivy Mason is Mr. Mason’s daughter.

“Even if you don’t do the body work, you can still go find something else,” Ivy Mason said. “Budget your money and get a better job.“

Genevieve works for Amazon now and has a working knowledge of cars and budgeting money.

Jamiah Cole is working on her nursing degree and can’t wait to bring her car into any shop in town.

“I feel confident that they aren’t going to overcharge me,” Cole said. “I know what i’m doing and if it comes down to it, I’m going to do it myself.“

This is why our anonymous donor wanted to give Universal Achievers Foundation a thousand dollars

Because when you teach a hands on marketable trade with a background of financial literacy, you make memphis better! A true community changer.

If you know an organization making a difference, Corie would love to hear from you.

You can head to the Community Changers page and fill out a form, or send Corie a message via email or social media.