SANTA ANA ( — A giveaway in Santa Ana is proving to high school students that going to school pays off.

A car dealership is handing over the keys to a 2014 Chevrolet Sonic to one of the approximately 800 high school students in the Santa Ana Unified School District with perfect attendance this year. Sonics sell between $14,000 to $21,000.

“The main reason we do this is to help the community,” said Bruce Hamlin, owner of Guaranty Chevrolet. “The more students that attend classes daily, the more educated the student becomes. Those are the people that become good citizens and therefore help the community.”

He said businesses have an obligation to help keep communities strong and safe.

The winner will be picked Saturday during a drawing at Guaranty Chevrolet dealership, where five of the eligible students will be randomly given a car key.

But only one of those keys will start the car. The four holding the keys that don’t work will each walk away with $100.

“The look on the student’s face when they win the car is priceless,” Hamlin said.

Guaranty started the annual giveaway in 2007.

The SAUSD has been cited by the state for the past two years for improved attendance and dropout prevention.

The car’s winner was 18-0year-old Santa Ana High student Nicandra Lopez — all she needs now is a driver’s license.

She told CBS2’s Joy Benedict it was her first time ever starting a car.

Lopez walks to school every day — 30 minutes each way — and she still made it every day.

RELATED STORY: Teen Wins Chevy Cruze For Having Perfect Attendance

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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