Members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica got the chance to learn some car maintenance tips from MTV’s “Pimp My Ride” host and rapper Xzibit during an event at the club’s main branch Aug. 11.

Xzibit, a former club member, attended the event to help kick off oil filter maker FRAM’s Ready to Role program, a nationwide initiative aimed at instilling confidence in youths through mentorship and hands-on car maintenance skills.

During the program, FRAM technicians, local car buffs, and Xzibit taught some fundamentals of car maintenance to more than 50 club members ages 11 to 14 who participate in the Passport to Manhood character and life skills program. As host of “Pimp My Ride,” Xzibit met with youngsters whose worn down vehicles were treated to much needed makeovers.

“Unlike with past generations where people took pride in caring for their vehicles, most youth aren’t taught do-it-yourself car care skills. But we’re aiming to change that,” said Duane Pekar, brand leader for FRAM. “The hope of Ready to Role is to reignite that ‘under the hood’ passion and build confidence in at-risk youth – to give these young men skills they can use on their car and in life.”

In between working on cars, the young men and technician volunteers spent time discussing cars and life over pizza.

“We know that connections with caring adults have a significant impact on the self-esteem of our young people. That’s why we create opportunities for them to be exposed to productive mentoring relationships,” said Aaron Young, chief executive officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica.

“The FRAM Ready to Role program teaches our kids new confidence-building skills that they can use later in life. At the same time, mentors show them they can achieve anything they put their minds to.”

As part of the event, FRAM also donated $5,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Monica, and gave each participant a personal car-care kit so they can continue to work under the hood of their own family vehicles.

Information, www.smbgc.org.

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