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Students at MSU Billings’ City College utilize their vehicle painting abilities to support Special K Ranch



Billings, Montana – When Special K Ranch got its repainted van back on Friday, it was a memorable night.

The students and locals were motivated by the gift from City College at MSU Billings.

For those enrolled in the auto body course, it’s an opportunity to give back and learn about the profession at the same time.

The Special K Ranch received the repainted van from the students.

“Van is so cool,” said Stephanie Morelli, a Special K resident. “And I see stickers and that stuff.”

“I really like it,” said David Teeling, Special K resident. “They did a good job.”

“I always enjoy the the big reveal,” said Steven Wodrich, auto body instuctor at City College. “I like to see that initial look on their faces the happiness and the shock.”

Every semester, Wodrich assigns these kinds of assignments to his classes, and he sees it as more than just preparing his students for the workforce.

“I like to show my students that not only can they make good living doing this, but they can use those skills to help those who are in need,” Wodrich said.

“It’s gonna feel more like we did something for somebody instead of just for a grade,” said Kaden Roberts, City Colllege auto body student. “So it feels more connective.”

“It was very good life experience just working together and solving problems together,” said Jordan Bartholomew, City College auto body student.

The Special K Ranch’s mission is “Providing family-oriented Christian homes, on a working ranch for adults who have developmental disabilities.”

“They really appreciate that people do this kind of stuff for them all the time,” said Marvin Schieldt, Special K program director. “And they like to give back. That’s why they put so much effort into the flowers and the things that we do out there a Special K.”

Numerous companies provided donations for the project, which according to Wodrich could run an auto body shop between $10,000 and $15,000.

On the rear of the van, the following people’s names are printed:

• MSU Billings City College
• Wildfire Auto Body
• Vynyl Monkeys
• Hail Team 6
• UPol
• Denny Menholt Chevrolet
• Capital Glass
• Mars of Billings

Wodrich wanted to do more than merely paint the van, which was the original plan.

“We wanted to make sure it was something that they could enjoy advertise with, and people could see and be impressed with,” Wodrich said.

“It means a lot,” said Ben Lindebaum, Special K resident. “I guess I could say it’s like a good sign that maybe our place is special.”

“I like to sit up front for church,” said Bob Larsen, Special K resident. “We go to church together. It’s a family.”

“Feels good,” said Bartholomew. “It’s just kind of a nice experience.”

“Good it will go for a good cause,” Roberts said. “So I’m glad that we did it.”

“It makes me really proud of the work that my students put into it,” Wodrich said. “Makes me happy that they are taking a sense of pride in their work.”

“They get blessed by these kinds of gifts and they need to learn to give themselves and find ways to do some things for others,” Schiedt said about ranch residents. “And we do that at Special K. We look for ways to go out and help others in ways that we can.”

According to Wodrich and the pupils, the course has equipped them for careers in auto body shops.



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