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New program drives Clevelanders to succeed

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Airon Hall, recipient of the Drive for Success program Airon Hall, recipient of the Drive for Success program

A new program is helping recent graduates get past the roadblock to getting a job.

You've probably been there, trying to find a way to get around and get to work. Now, a local program is making it a little easier for those who are working to make their futures brighter.

Virginia Dean along with several others in the "Drive to Succeed" program have plenty to smile about.  

"I'm extremely excited. My cheeks hurt from smiling so much," said Virginia.

Virginia was riding away with a new Nissan. It's all a part of a pilot program with the Collection Auto Group in Middleburg Heights and the Cleveland Foundation.

"People actually had to turn down jobs because of the lack of transportation and no public transportation to get them," said India Lee.

India Lee is with the Cleveland Foundation. She tells us now participants don't have to worry about getting around because their transportation will be their own.

The foundation has two different programs "New Bridge", which trains people to get into the medical field and the "Evergreen Cooperatives Program. It gives participants the opportunity to potentially own the business they work at.

"They didn't just give us a car and say ok. They are actually sitting down with us making sure we're making a payment. Working on our credit. That's one of the best parts to me," stated Airon Hall.

Participants won't have to make payments for the first three months and they will pay just $200 for the next nine months until it's time to purchase the car. So not only do they get new cars, participants get help with establishing credit and financial coaching.

A new ride and a new lease on life. The skills these participants say puts them on the road to success.

"Focus on our jobs and providing for our families and for ourselves. We don't have to worry about getting from point A-to-B," said Virginia Dean.

Organizers of the pilot program hope they can continue it next year.

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