Sierra Vista High School graduate Brooks Klein ended his high school career as a standout in the classroom with a 4.7 grade point average and on the baseball diamond with a .480 batting average.
When the 18-year-old super star leaves for Western Nevada College in Carson City on a baseball scholarship, he'll head for Northern Nevada in an '09 Honda Fit after winning the vehicle in the third annual Drive for Excellence sponsored by Desert Honda.
The celebrated Drive for Excellence program requires that eligible students have at least a 3.7 grade point average and no unexcused absences.
"I was stunned," Klein said when he was named the winner of the car last week at the YMCA after having the fourth-highest GPA in the school. "My advice to high school students is to maintain your grades, go to college and hopefully make a lot of money."
Klein plans to major in biology in college. He wants to eventually become a physical therapist.
"He has always excelled in pretty much everything he has done," said his father, Steve, a city of Las Vegas fire fighter. "He is a perfectionist and will do whatever it takes to get something done. In fact, the lowest grade he got in high school was a B."
The Honda Fit has been hailed for its fuel economy, considering it is capable of getting more than 36 miles to the gallon. A hatchback, it has proven popular with all ages and especially the younger generation.
Klein's Fit is a five-speed automatic, with a 4-cylinder with a five-star safety crash rating and safety features such as front and side air bags along with side curtain air bags. The car is a five-passenger vehicle and also has a surprising amount of cargo space.
Slightly less than 1,100 qualified for the chance to win the car. The program has been run in conjunction with the Clark County School District, Beasley Broadcasting and Silver State Schools Credit Union, which donated about $8,000 in scholarships to various students.
"He certainly earned the car, that's for sure," said Desert Honda General Manager Nicholas Delecce. "We love the Drive for Excellence program because it salutes the best students in the Clark County School District, and Brooks exemplifies those students. We couldn't be happier for him."
The dealership also announced that the Drive for Excellence program would be presented again next year.
"I think it's a fantastic program," said dealer facilitator Danielle Jenner, who spearheaded the program this year. "In addition, it is a classic example of a dealership giving back to the community."
Desert Honda is situated at 1700 E. Sahara Ave., where it became the first Honda dealership in Las Vegas more than 30 years ago.