By Laura Margoni
When student-athletes at The Preuss School at the University of California, San Diego—a charter school for motivated, low-income students—had to attend an off-campus game, it would be up to their coach or another volunteer driver to shuttle them to and from the game in his or her personal car.
Typically, only about six students would be able to fit in the car, a number which would barely constitute a team. Now, thanks to South Bay Volkswagen, Preuss students will be able to ride to off-campus matches in two stylish Routan minivans. The dealership is allowing the school to use the vans for a year through a no-cost lease with the possibility of extending the arrangement for additional years.
“This will be the first dedicated transportation provided to our Preuss athletes,” said Preuss Principal Scott Barton. “Now we can ensure that all our student-athletes are able to participate in away games rather than just a few. We are extremely grateful for South Bay Volkswagen’s support.”
Barton, along with Preuss faculty, staff and students, accepted the keys to the minivans from South Bay Volkswagen president and owner, Rudy Erm during a recent ceremony. Erm learned of Preuss’ transportation need and agreed to let the school use the vans thanks to the efforts of Lisa Hawk, chair of the school’s athletics department.
“Whenever we can provide a service to the community, I like to help out,” said Erm. “It gives me great pleasure to be able to do this.”
The Preuss School UCSD is a middle and high school dedicated to providing intensive college preparation for low-income students who will become the first in their families to graduate from college. With more than 750 students in grades 6-12, Preuss has a record high Academic Performance Index Score (API) of 894, which is one of the highest in the county. The school is jointly chartered by UC San Diego and the San Diego Unified School District.