Former Full Circle Service Center automotive intern, Chris White, has a lot to be happy about these days because he holds a pair of special keys. The keys are special because in order to receive them he had to earn the trust of his grandfather, Herbert Berkley, a longtime mechanic, and auto repair shop owner, affectionately known to family and friends as “Big Herb.”
Trust needed to be earned because White, who spent much of his youth from five years old and up in his grandfather’s shop—first cleaning then learning how to fix cars—started getting into trouble with the law and spent five years in prison. After serving his sentence, White came to Vehicles for Change, having received information about the new auto repair shop that would be opening up and providing hands-on training for returning citizens. Big Herb’s attendance at Full Circle’s grand opening event was an encouragement to his grandson.
At 25 years-old, White was the youngest in Full Circle’s first group of automotive interns, self-named Team Trailblazers. He set high expectations for himself from the beginning, wanting to be an active part of his little girl’s life. This was extremely important since his incarceration began when she was only three months. He also wanted to do well and set an example as a leader in the automotive internship program, which he ultimately did, being hired part-time at Vehicles for Change before moving on to work at Antwerpen Auto World in Randallstown. A generous soul, White never forgot how the program helped him and was always willing to reach back and share information about jobs in order to help upcoming Full Circle interns. In 2016, White was honored as Vehicles For Change’s first Intern of the Year at its Best of Automotive Service Awards.
Last, but certainly not least, White had a desire to, someday, own and operate his grandfather’s shop, Herb’s Car Care. Although he has not taken it over just yet, a very significant bridge was crossed when this former Full Circle intern was given the keys and is now able to do after hours work at his grandfather’s garage. This meant the world to him as he posted about it on his Facebook page. The message read:
My Grandfather told me when I came home, “You gotta earn your ????”!!! That’s not the only key I earned, but it means the most to me.”
Full Circle Service Center congratulates Christopher White, who took his opportunity, received a second chance and has now earned his keys.