Two former Franklin Law Enforcement students get a big assist from Browne Auto Tech students

Evette and Elizabeth Sierra were shocked to learn this truck was now theirs.

Sometimes all the pieces fit together into a beautiful story.  This one is all about cars. It involves a unique high school automotive program at Trevor Browne, two graduates of Franklin Police and Fire, a car dealership, a generous family and the Phoenix Police Department.

Back in 2014, Sanderson Ford donated a used vehicle to a retired police officer and veteran, George Breck, who had his truck stolen and did not have the funds for a new vehicle. Recently, Mr. Breck passed away, and his daughter Paige wanted to donate a used vehicle back to Sanderson to give to someone in need and pay it forward.

Enter the Cars, College & Career (C3) after-school program at Trevor Browne run by Phoenix Police Officer Matthew Teerink and Automotive Technologies teacher William Medina. Teerink knew of twin girls Evette and Elizabeth Sierra both of whom are in the Phoenix Police Cadet Program and are attending community college. They didn’t have access to a vehicle for transportation to and from school, work and the cadet program. Sanderson brought the 2001 pickup truck to the C3 program and the Trevor Browne students cleaned it up and wrapped it in the girls’ favorite colors: blue and purple.  Medina called the wrapping material “Mermaid Blue,”  and depending on the light, it takes on different hues of blue or purple.

The car was presented to the girls earlier this month in the Automotive Technologies workshop at Trevor Browne with Sanderson bosses and police officers present.

“We were shocked.  They didn’t tell us what was happening so it was a complete surprise,” Evette said.

The C3 program is in its first full year with over 20 students participating. The students are getting job skill training, learning automotive repair and car customization, and are being introduced to the automotive industry. Sanderson’s General Manager, Mark Witthar, said he was impressed with the students. He told them about the opportunities as auto technicians and invited them to the dealership to see the operation.

Meanwhile, Evette is starting a sign language degree at Phoenix College and currently works as a police aid for Phoenix PD. She’s been in the cadet program since 2016 where she serves as a Lieutenant. Elizabeth is starting her psychology degree at Glendale Community College in January. She’s also applying for a police aid position and wants to work as a K-nine officer someday. She is currently the Assistant Chief within the Cadet program.

A simple gesture of returning a favor four years later may have changed the lives of many Phoenix Union students who aspire to be police officers and automotive professionals.