Oakland car dealership owner gives back to community by helping youth

- A group of East Bay teens and young adults are getting a chance to learn important life skills from trained experts through an automotive program. 

"I never had experiences with cars before. So I'm learning about different parts of the car," said Khantane "KJ" Jackson of Oakland.  

"The automotive program is very helpful because it helps you learn how to change your tire and check your brakes," said Devy Set of Oakland.  

The class is held at the Mike Murphy Academy inside the Love For Margot Foundation. Sitting on the edge of Downtown Oakland.

The teens are taught job skills three days a week.  Learning everything about the automotive field from maintenance and repair to sales and finance.  

"You know I've owned Volkswagen of Oakland for 22 years.  So it was natural that we teach these kids how to work on cars and how to sell cars," said Love from Margot Foundation Founder, Mike Murphy.   

The foundation is named after Murphy's late wife Margot.

His goal is to help at-risk youth and young adults turn their lives around. Something Murphy knows from experience.

"My life was a mess. I dropped out of school, I never finished high school. I never went to college or anything and I was a troubled youth. I was in juvi and all that stuff," Murphy said.  

His hope is to make a difference, stressing education and job readiness. Putting the young people on a path to a successful career. 

"I think it’s a great opportunity for the youth to come in and get training working on cars and potentially get a career as a technician or mechanic," said Jackson.  

The automotive class is just one course offered at the Love for Margot Foundation.

They also cater to youth from 14 to 18 at programs next door.  

On the community center side of the foundation is where those 18 and under come after school for three hours to learn about music and video production.

Inside the center's Apple authorized training center. It’s a way to keep those students busy and off the streets.  

"It gives me a place to come to so I can't get distracted and find my way to get into trouble," said Elijah Cotapos of Oakland.  

Both sides of the foundation offer paid and unpaid internships. Giving those who are underserved a chance at a level playing field and experiences that can last a lifetime.  

"You can just do it yourself. If I have a flat tire, just go to your trunk, get your spare tire and your tools and do it yourself," said Set.  

"If I didn't come to this program I would end up going to college and I would have to pay. But instead? I'm coming here and I'm getting paid," said Madrigal.  

"This is a fun way that gives me two hours to learn something new that I could probably put on a college application," said Cotapos.  

"What I want to give these kids is hope. If I can do it, you can do it. Anybody can do it," Murphy said.  
 

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