A girl, her car, and the community that’s rallying behind them both.

Today’s post if from Community Shepherd Cheerleader, Shannon Kohn.

Photo from flickr.

My love for the Pontiac Fiero goes way back. It was my first “real” car purchase after high school in 1987. I loved the powerful cuteness found within its form, and the freedom from childhood that it represented for me. The day I had to take my dream car back to the dealership (grown-up life lesson #1 — always check the cost of new-driver, sports car insurance before you purchase said sports car, and when it exceeds the monthly payment of said sports car by more than $100, consider more cost-effective transportation options) was one of the saddest days of my young life. Seriously.

So, when I came across this article on cnn.com about 12-year-old Kathryn DiMaria and her desire to purchase, rebuild and be able to drive a Fiero by the time she turns 16, I was super stoked. There are so many things that make Kathryn’s story amazing in my eyes. But, for brevity’s sake, I’ll only share a few:

Fieros rock.

Kathryn’s only 12, yet she’s so determined to “do this thing” on her own. I know there are other kids out there like her with vision, creativity, and stick-to-it-ness, and that makes me feel hopeful for the future.

I love that her whole family is involved in her adventure and supports her passion enough to want to share in it with her and share it with others, too.

Lastly, her story is a perfect example of what community is all about. Once her dad posted threads on Kathryn’s adventure in the forums of several online Fiero enthusiast communities, massive amounts of support, encouragement, knowledge–and even money and car parts–began to pour in. That’s beyond awesome.

When I read stories like Kathryn’s, I feel extra-energized about the idea of community and about the world around me. I now also have a nagging desire to hit the interwebs to look for a gently used, ’87 silver Pontiac Fiero with low miles. Hell, maybe I’ll follow in Kathryn’s shoes and just build my own. I know there’s a passionate group of Fiero-loving folks out there that will welcome me with open arms.

We’d love to hear about your first “real” car purchase. Care to share?

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