By Katie Hurst
Last year’s customized ’15 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited build, auctioned through Bring A Trailer, raised $56,175.
In 2018, SEMA partnered with Santa Fe Early College Opportunities (Santa Fe ECO) High School for a pilot vehicle build program, which was aimed at high school auto shops, and offered students real-world auto tech skills while promoting the interest and knowledge of young people in accessorization and customization.
SEMA funded the project, including the ’15 4WD Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, while ECO modified the Jeep and developed a written curriculum and a how-to guide intended to be used for similar projects in other secondary schools across the nation.
The automotive specialty-equipment industry backed the build by donating parts for students to install on the Jeep. The fully customized Jeep was auctioned through Bring A Trailer in June 2018 for a total of $56,175. Proceeds will go toward the funding of a second vehicle build for the school.
SEMA is again partnering with Santa Fe ECO, along with four additional high schools in 2019 for a total of five vehicle builds. Partnering high schools include:
- C.D. Hylton High School – Woodbridge, Virginia
- Comstock High School – Kalamazoo, Michigan
- R.L. Turner High School – Carrollton, Texas
- Santa Fe Early College Opportunities High School – Santa Fe, New Mexico
- Santa Ynez Valley Union High School – Santa Ynez, California
The students will customize Jeep Wranglers between the ’96–’06 model years with aftermarket products. All five customized vehicles will be auctioned at the end of the school year to fund the continued expansion of the program.
SEMA is looking for sponsors to support the 2019 builds. If you are interested in sponsoring one or more of SEMA’s high school vehicle builds, fill out a sponsor interest form or contact Katie Hurst, SEMA youth engagement programs manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.