August, 18 2017

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Mechanic Helps Troubled Teen and Gives Back to former Group Home

Grinning from ear-to-ear, Kirsten Brandon never thought this day would come.

“It's a shock and it's awesome. I mean I got a car,” she said. “I didn't expect this to happen being in the system.”

Hands on the wheel, and keys in the ignition, Brandon is ready to accelerate into her future.

But not before crediting her past.

Why Getting this Car is So Special to a Teen Like Brandon

Brandon has spent the last three years growing up in a group home called The Villages.

But she says the mistakes that got her there, have given her the opportunity to succeed and earn this 1995 Oldsmobile.

“I actually have a family that I never really had, and they helped me along the way,” she said.

But what makes the car even more special, is that it was given to Brandon by Walt Pursell, who was a resident of the Villages nearly 30 years ago.

Walt Pursell, Giving Back to Help Troubled Teens

“Sometimes I call myself a poster child I guess,” he said.

He now owns a car repair shop and fixed up the gift for Brandon after a customer had no use for it.

He says it's way to give back after someone did the same for him, but with furniture.

Brandon's Obligation

“The obligation is if she gets bored of it she can trade it in,” Pursell said. “If she can't trade it in she's got to pass it on to somebody else.”

After signing her name on the title, Brandon says the accomplishment of gaining her independence is inspiring.

“I believe I could help kids turn around too,” she said.

And she says this is one driving lesson she'll never forget.



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