Teens: Empower Your Power Behind the Wheel

Kait LeonardBy Kait Leonard

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Teens: Empower Your Power Behind the Wheel
Chaya Milchtein. Photo credit Jackie Fairman.
Automotive educator, plus-size model, and social media influencer, Chaya Milchtein, launches her new Automotive Fundamentals program for teen and young adult drivers.
Think back to getting your first car. How did you learn to navigate the world of car ownership? Did you know what to do when the engine light came on? If a mechanic recommended a service, did you feel comfortable declining it? Upon getting that first car, most drivers just jumped in and hit the road. If something went wrong, they asked a friend, a parent, or some guy at the gas station what to do. Milchtein wants to empower today’s young drivers with the knowledge they need to own a car responsibly. “Before your first car: A virtual car ownership class for teens and young adults” will be held live in a private Facebook group on October 24-25, where Milchtein will teach content and answer student questions for one hour each day. The site will remain available for one month, so students will have the opportunity to review the videos. The course is geared toward students ages 15 to 24 years old.
Chaya Milchtein. Photo credit Jackie Fairman.
Milchtein has been conducting online automotive education for three years, and her classes sell out. This course is offered on a sliding scale from $39 to $159, and spaces are limited. Ten percent of the gross revenue will be donated to Kids Matter, an organization that supports abused and neglected children. The funds raised from this course will be directed toward the purchase of a car for a young person coming out of foster care, a special interest of Milchtein.

She gained her knowledge of cars from years working in the auto service industry. She started in a Sears Auto Center and moved on to other major automotive repair chains and dealerships. Working in customer service, she always viewed her job as deciphering mechanic-speak for the car owner. Her insider position also made her privy to ways customers can be taken advantage of. She has acquired a “well rounded understanding of cars, inside and out,” she says.

Though the upcoming teen class is new for Milchtein, working with kids isn’t. The oldest of 15 siblings in an orthodox Jewish family, Milchtein has literally spent her life caring for children and teens. This, at least partially, explains why she is so passionate to support them as they take that important step into first-time car ownership, a significant rite of passage for many young people.
Chaya Milchtein. Photo credit Jackie Fairman.
The upcoming course “is intended to educate young people at an early age, before they’re too far into the car ownership journey, so they don’t make mistakes that can easily be prevented,” says Milchtein. She will cover topics like an overview of the owner’s manual; knowing when to call for a tow rather than drive; and how to know when to say “No” to a mechanic, among other important topics. This is not a driver’s education course, nor is it a class on becoming a DIY mechanic. Milchtein designed this program to empower young people, so they feel confident in their cars.

As a “fat, queer person who wears fabulous clothes and educates people about cars,” owning her power means everything to Milchtein and she strives to help others feel as confident as she does. Besides providing auto education, she is a plus-size model, writer, and speaker.

When asked what brings cars and clothes together, she says “Empowerment.” She uses her teaching platform and her influencer status to help LGBTQ+ people, plus-size women, and car owners who sometimes get taken advantage of, to feel confident and in control.

For anyone who has an adolescent getting ready to take to the road, why not arm them with some of the real-world knowledge that many driver’s education programs don’t provide?

Learning the hard way, the way most people do, isn’t only unnecessary, it isn’t safe.

To register: https://mechanicshopfemme.com/product/virtual-car-ownership-class-for-teens-and-young-adults/
Kait Leonard

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August 21, 2020