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Houston Schools Support 2007 Goal of Success for McReynolds Middle School

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On the evening of August 31, a meeting was held for the parents, students, teachers, staff, business partners, and other community members of McReynolds Middle School, a member of the Houston school system that is located on the east side of the city. Hundreds of people filled the school’s auditorium, leaving standing room only.

McReynolds, along with Houston school’s Kashmere and Sam Houston, will be closed next spring, if they do not improve their state rankings. McReynolds has been ranked “academically unacceptable” by the state for three consecutive years. It has been given the 2006-2007 school year to be rated at least “academically acceptable”.

The meeting concerned the 2006-2007 plans to improve McReynolds’ state rating. Speakers included school and district leaders, with Houston School Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra, Board of Education President Diana Davila, and First Vice President Manuel Rodriguez representing the Houston School district.

The purpose of the meeting was to educate the community on measures being taken to save the school from closing next year, solicit feedback from the public and all concerned, discuss what still needs to be done, and to elicit help, support and involvement from the community.

The Houston schools installed Jorge Arredondo in 2005 as the school’s principal. Though his first time as principal, student progress increased significantly in the 2005-2006 school year over the previous one. McReynolds experienced a significant improvement in the areas of math, reading and writing, earning a “recognized” status from the state in both the areas of reading and writing. Additionally, the number of students increased for receiving a “commended” status from the state on their excellent performance on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test.

Arredondo gives credit to his staff for the improvements, but he had already implemented many changes during the 2006-2007 school year that supported both students and teachers. Some examples:

o Full-time mentors were assigned to new teachers;

o The “bear (school’s mascot) team time” was created to provide additional TAKS support to targeted students; and

o New staff was added — 22 new teachers, two new assistant principals, and another bilingual counselor.

During Arredondo’s discussion, he reiterated his commitment to the McReynolds, saying he expects greatness from his Houston schools students. He acknowledged his belief that “how much educators care about them” is more important to the Houston children, citing his own experience with middle school teachers “who never gave up on him” and cared what happened to him. He also expressed his belief that all of McReynolds teachers and staff care deeply about their Houston school students and want them all to succeed.

Houston school superintendent Saavedra ended his speech by urging everyone in the McReynolds community to get involved as mentors, volunteers or in other equally valuable roles. Saavedra expressed his confidence in Arredondo and the success of the school during the 2006-2007 school year under Arredondo’s guidance and leadership. Saavedra finished by giving Arredondo his full support, saying, “Whatever he needs, we will do.”

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Spotlight on 5 Rewarding Mental Health Careers

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Think about it: you make time to service your car. You make time to take your pets to the vet. You even make time to clean your house. But how often do you make time to check in on the state of your own mental health?

With health care reform laws expanding coverage for mental health and substance abuse services, more and more Americans will be able to seek the help they need to manage stress, deal with trauma, and improve their lives.

If you want to be one of those professionals who help people look after their mental and emotional health, consider a career in psychology, counseling, or social work. We’ve broken down five popular mental health careers and their degree requirements to help you get started.

Careers

When you think of mental health, a psychology career most likely comes to mind. Psychologists use their knowledge of the human mind and emotions to help patients deal with a wide range of issues, from serious psychological disorders to addiction and recovery to couples counseling.

How to Start a Psychology Career

Requirements for psychologists vary state to state, but as a minimum, you’ll need a Master’s degree in psychology to practice. Some states will require you to have a PhD.

Marriage and Family Therapist Careers

The dynamics of husband, wives and their children are unique, which is why marriage and family therapists are a specialized group of mental health workers. They spend their time in school learning how to read and diagnose different family dynamics and treat each family member, not just one individual.

How to Start a Marriage and Family Therapy Career

The majority of marriage and family therapists have a Master’s degree in marriage and family therapy.

Guidance Counselor Careers

Growing up isn’t easy, which is why guidance counselors are hired by elementary, middle and high schools to help children and young adults throughout their educational careers. Guidance counselors make sure students are progressing mentally and emotionally, and will even assist during the college and career decision-making process.

How to Start a Guidance Counselor Career

Guidance counselors will need a Master’s degree in counseling to get started.

Rehabilitation Counselor Careers

Those who have physical, emotional or psychological disabilities need a unique kind of counseling. Rehabilitation counselors fill this need, using their skills to improve their quality of life and helping them live as independently as possible.

How to Start a Rehabilitation Career

Like the careers listed above, rehabilitation counselors need to have a Master’s degree in counseling or a related field.

Social Work Careers

Some of society’s toughest problems-child abuse, spousal abuse, homelessness, poverty, truancy-often go hand in hand. It’s the responsibility of social workers to help the men, women and children who are trapped in this complicated web of issues.

How to Start a Social Work Career

Social Workers need a master’s degree in social work to get started, and they generally also have a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field.

For more information on these careers and correlating degree programs, visit this health services career profiles page.

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Variety of Cleaning Approaches by Professional Commercial Carpet Cleaning Services

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Many commercial business companies with offices have carpets to create a professional look as well as for absorbing sounds to generate a more productive environment for their workers. First impressions are very important as one walks into any office with clean carpets and furniture.

Professional cleaning

Commercial business companies have big carpet pieces that require professional cleaning to keep it looking new and fresh. Commercial cleaning services use the best of cleaning resources and techniques to ensure a longer usage of the carpet to help the company save money as quality carpets are not cheap; even for a company.

There must be experienced and qualified cleaning experts who know how to handle different carpets in different commercial environments. The best of cleaning products must be applied using relevant equipment designed for cleaning them and not the common janitorial tools and detergent. There must be a proper identification of its type and size as well as the type of dirt exposed on them before a thorough cleaning is executed on the carpet.

Professional commercial carpet cleaners offer expert cleaning services that can lengthen the warranty of these. Commercial businesses with carpets to clean can request for a customized cleaning solution or package deal that benefits them. Flexibility is commonly exercised with commercial cleaning services to suit the working hours of the businesses to avoid disruption and inconvenience.

Types of cleaning methods

Different carpets would require different types of cleaning methods to ensure the continual functionality of the piece. One of the popular methods is hot water extraction with vacuuming to suck out all possible soap residues that might attract dirt.

Another carpet cleaning approach is bonnet cleaning where a buffing machine is used to pull in dirt from it. Only biodegradable solutions that are Eco-friendly are applied with minimal water to enjoy a more efficient cleaning.

Encapsulation is a new carpet cleaning process which applies a dry method without fragrances or volatile organic compounds. The cleaned carpet dries quickly after being cleaned. Carpet restoration is used on carpets that have deep stains formed over time due to improper maintenance. Re-soiled spots would be totally eradicated with a few cleaning applications to have the carpet restored to its original beauty and functionality.

There is also the anti-static control approach which is a special commercial carpet cleaning treatment used to reduce static charges on carpet. This is common in offices that have air conditioning which creates a dry environment.

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The Easy Way to Borrow Money in India As a National

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If you are an Indian national and have never borrowed money from a lender before, you might feel confused and intimidated by the prospect. The younger generations at least can easily begin to do this online, since they are more familiar with the virtual environment. The online opportunities are far more varied.

Why apply for loans online
First of all, it is extremely easy and fast. It only takes minutes to provide the lender the needed information and submit your application. Then, you need to wait to be approved, but with certain lenders that can be instant. The third and final stage is when the money is deposited straight into the borrower’s bank account. The entire process is automated, so the borrower does not have to meet any person in order to obtain the loan. Personal or business loans can be obtained on the Internet through the peer-to-peer lending system.

The kind of loans one can apply for
In India, it is possible to apply online for short or long term loans. The money obtained this way can be used for various purposes, such as marriage, education, car, land or home purchase and so on. Loans generally start at Rs. 10,000. Make sure to pay maximum attention when you agree on the repayments period – you must make sure you can make repayments as promised.

Eligibility criteria
To obtain a loan online without any hassle, just make sure you follow the guidelines. Also, you need to meet the eligibility criteria. Before applying, the individual needs to gather all the documents required. The PAN card will usually be necessary, as well as Aadhar card. The client must provide an address proof. The electricity bills required are not always a substitute for this proof of address. As soon as all the documents are gathered, the client should scan these and send the copies online in the provided form. Lenders require to see each client’s credit score before they decide whether to approve the loan or not. In addition, borrowers definitely need to have a valid bank account, so the money can be delivered. Nationality and residency are also important matters here. Applicants need to make proof of their Indian nationality.

How the Aadhar card helps
Having an Aadhar card can help you obtain a loan on fair terms. The purpose of the project involving it was to secure everyone’s social identity permanently. A card with a unique identification number holding biometric data can easily and accurately provide proof of identity and residency. It’s the perfect solution for today’s technological advancements that have also made quick online loans possible.

While an Aadhar card isn’t mandatory yet, it can make the entire loan application process a lot easier.

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Five Ways To Brighten Your Future

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When it comes to the story of your life, you call the shots. Whether it’s choosing a college, a major, a profession or a spouse, you have the ultimate say. If you want to take control of your future, you need realize that you can manipulate your own reality to conform to your inner most hopes and dreams. Bend the world around you to conform to your hopes and dreams. Realize that you are the driver of this vehicle known as life. You are not a passenger, and you don’t have to wait until the next stop. You can steer this thing wherever to go.

Here are five ways to help you brighten your future and take control of your life:

1. Don’t forget yesterday, ponder tomorrow, but live entirely in today, every single day.

You are in real-time control of your own destiny. Don’t shackle yourself by worrying too much about what came before, and don’t overburden yourself by projecting plans too far into the future. Live in the now and you will have more control of you future.

2. Network

Don’t go through life fighting battles all by yourself. Find allies. Create genuine relationships based on healthy, positive exchanges. Don’t selfishly look for assistance. Be willing to give up part of yourself in exchange for help from others.

3. Educate yourself and never stop learning.

Every personal perspective in this world is unique. At any given moment, the dumbest person around you still knows at least one thing that you do not yet understand. Be humble about your educational development. Be open to new ideas and practices. Recognize that learning never stops. Keep the door to your mind open at all times.

4. Have frequent discussions with someone who has a worldview and belief system that is different from your own.

Like minded people tend to gravitate toward one another. That’s natural and to be expected. If you want to have a bright future in this world, you need to be comfortable dealing with people who share different viewpoints. If you’re a liberal hippie, who consorts only with fellow hippies, then how are you going to react when your first boss is a staunch conservative who wears his politics on his sleeve? Likewise, if you’re the president of the local Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) branch, then you need to seek out different outlooks to experience. Associating with only the people that share your beliefs is myopic. In life you will constantly be expected to coexist with different perspectives, so make sure you are willing and able to do so.

5. Learn to let things go.

Whenever you feel completely overwhelmed, like the odds are unfairly stacked against you, think about balance. Ask any physicist, and he or she will tell you that the universe, from astronomical scales to sub-atomic levels, is a grand balancing act. Balance is critical to the existence of anything, from planets to people to particles. Whenever you feel like you’ve hit a bad spell of luck, remember how things balance out, and find strength in the knowledge that balance keeps the universe together. Trust in the fact that things will work themselves out.

The future is what you make of it. You are in total control of your life, no matter what previous or future obligations you may possess. Be confident in your ability to manipulate reality the way you see fit. Create the conditions you want to exists in, and adjust them whenever necessary. The more purposefully you live, the brighter your future will be.

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Quality Education Vs Accreditation

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Education:

“The act or process of educating or being educated; the knowledge or skill obtained or developed by a learning process!”

Inquiries into furthering my educational aspirations were made to various colleges within my immediate environmental area. Several of the schools contacted required placement exams that I did not challenge, as I am adept and very capable of dealing with college examinations. The thing that got to me was the disparaging remarks from some college recruiters regarding their standards for education as opposed to another college. One of the schools that I’ve attended is a two-year degree school while the other is as well. They hold real estate in the same zip code and competed for students in the same local. They both educated local students as well as out of state and students from other countries and nations.

One school considered itself superior to the other by reason of accreditation. The school that was described as inferior did not have middle states accreditation. The school was described as below standard by the other. The so-called superior school is lead and operated by a non-HBCU affiliation while the other happened to be lead and operated by an African American staff. The self-described superior school has made plans, designs, and did bid for the take-over of the African American school. Albeit, the self-described superior school admits that it does not and will not accept credentials from the so-called inferior school. I have attended both of these institutions and received very good instruction from its teachers as well. While the lessons learned were an invaluable source of information, the education that I received from personal academic research (self-taught) has enhanced my knowledge base. Money was not a factor in my personal research, study, and/or practicum. I would add, the knowledge and information that was derived from the HBCU School proved to be equally rewarding as the other if not better!

Personally, I would say that I received more educational value at the HBCU (Historical Black Colleges and Universities) as opposed to the other collegiate institution. Albeit, they both required money.

When students visit college campuses they are encouraged to become a student at that particular school. The tour guides’ show all of the amenities and accolades that are offered in order to get you enrolled…and to gain your tuition monies. But what about the quality of education offered by the particular schools? The majority of the colleges will often quote their accreditation as compared to another school of choice. What has accreditation to do with a good and valuable quality education? Money! And the ability to make money! Education does not and should not require money! 

In 1899 Dr. Matthew Anderson, an outstanding community leader, and his wife Caroline Still Anderson founded Berean Manual and Industrial School. Dr. Anderson was a pivotal influence in the religious, business, and educational history of Philadelphia. Dr. Anderson also founded the Berean Presbyterian Church and the Berean Savings Fund Society.

Caroline Still is the daughter of the great William Still, a Philadelphia Abolitionist and member of the Underground Railroad.

Mr. William Still (a self-educated man), one of seventeen children, was born in Burlington County in 1821. His father escaped slavery from Maryland to New Jersey and later was followed by his wife and children. William Still left New Jersey for Philadelphia in 1844. Three years later he was appointed secretary of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society.

“When Brother William Still was 23, he left the family farm in New Jersey for Philadelphia, to seek his fortune. He arrived, friendless with only five dollars in his possession. Mr. Still taught himself to read and write. In fact, so well, that in three years he was able to gain and hold the position of secretary in the Pennsylvania Abolition Society. Brother Still provided the all-white society with his views on how to aid fugitive slaves. After all, he had been one himself. He was such an asset to the group, that he was elected chairman in 1851. Still held the position for the next ten years. He also became chairman of the Vigilance Committee in 1852. Still was the first black man to join the society and was able to provide first-hand experience of what it was like to be a slave.”

“Mr. Still established a profitable coal business in Philadelphia. His house was used as one of the stations on the Underground Railroad. Brother Still interviewed escaped fugitives and kept careful records of each so that their family and friends might locate them. According to his records, Still helped 649 slaves receive their freedom. The number is compounded with the number of slaves saved by Sister Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad.”

“William Still, a self-educated man, began his campaign to end racial discrimination on Philadelphia streetcars. He wrote an account of this campaign in Struggle for the Civil Rights of the Coloured People of Philadelphia in the City Railway Cars (1867). He followed this with The Underground Railroad (1872) and Voting and Laboring (1874).”

“William Still, a self-educated man, established an orphanage for the children of African-American soldiers and sailors. Other charitable work included the founding of a Mission Sabbath School and working with the Young Men’s Christian Association. William Still died in Philadelphia on 14th July, 1902.”

The Concise History of Berean Institute:

“In 1904 Berean Institute of Philadelphia Pennsylvania qualified for state aid and received a grant of $10,000. Over the years, state aid has enabled the school to expand its services and diversify its programs of study. Funds from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania now provide a significant portion of the total operating budget. Berean Institute embarked on a program of expansion under the dynamic leadership of the late Dr. William H. Gray, Jr., who utilized the support of many influential citizens of Pennsylvania including the former Governor Milton J. Shapp. Dr. Gray served as Chairman of the Berean Board of Trustees. Under Dr. Gray’s leadership Berean Manual and Industrial School began operating as Berean Institute. He also had Berean Institute’s current building constructed in 1973.”

“Mrs. Lucille P. Blondin, who served the school for forty-five years, became Berean Institute’s first President. Mrs. Blondin retired in June 1993. Dr. Norman K. Spencer was appointed to serve as the second President and Chief Executive Officer. Under Dr. Spencer’s leadership, contracted programs funded by the City and Commonwealth agencies as well as community outreach projects have been added. Hon. John Braxton, former Judge, Court of Common Pleas heads a list of distinguished Board of Trustees members.”

“Berean Institute enrolled students in full and part-time programs. Most of the students are residents of the Commonwealth and live in Philadelphia. Other students have come from Central and South America, China, India, Puerto Rico, Tonga, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Tanzania, the Dominican Republic, England, Cambodia, Viet Nam and states along the eastern seaboard of the United States.”

“A number of students come to learn a marketable skill and their Berean training fulfills their current educational aspirations. Many others regard the school as a stepping-stone to further education. Berean has many graduates who have gone on to earn four-year college degrees and others who have completed graduate studies at some of the area’s outstanding institutions of higher learning.”

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Education granted Berean Institute approval to award the Associate in Specialized Technology Degree on September 15, 1976, and the Associate in Specialized Business Degree on December 27, 1976.

Again, education is:

“The act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life; the act or process of imparting or acquiring particular knowledge or skills, as for a profession; a degree, level, or kind of schooling: a university education; .the result produced by instruction, training, or study: to show one’s education; the science or art of teaching; pedagogics.”

A definition of education: ‘The act or process of educating or being educated; the knowledge or skill obtained or developed by a learning process; a program of instruction of a specified kind or level: driver education; a college education; the field of study that is concerned with the pedagogy of teaching and learning; an instructive or enlightening experience:

Dictionary.com Unabridged

Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2009

So why does another school rate it’s accreditation over and above that of another? Money! Many colleges and universities rate its’ educational values based on the amount of money in its’ coffers as well as the amount of money that they can amass!  Another tool to increase superiority in the education business is to attain and maintain accreditation and as many acquisitions as possible.

Several opinions suggest education achieved through these venues is designed to prepare people/students for the job market as opposed to being prepared for life skills. The skills required to carry ones posterity and their descendants that follow into prosperous futures.

Is it fair to assess the stature of a collegiate institution above any other based on the amount of money that is needed to be spent or the amount of education that is achieved? Ivy league institutions turn out many students who are not prepared for the challenges of life…but many of them are rich and have spent thousands of dollars to attend those schools as well as graduating from them. On the other hand, many poor people that are lucky enough to qualify for grants, loans, scholarships, etc., are better prepared to face the challenges set before them (so it seems).

Many poor and working poor students seem to value the collegiate level education as if their life depended upon it, so they tend to work a bit harder to achieve the degree status. The document can be deemed worthless when the graduate cannot find the desired job for which he/she has studied. It is even worse when the graduated student finds that they are worse off than when they started college. They are now burdened with school loan debt plus the debts that they have had to meet before attending college. Working at McDonalds and the like, seem to be the only job that is attainable for many of them. The competition is fierce. These students are for the most part, grouped in with many applicants that are not college educated and many do not have high school diplomas as well! The knowledge attained is not considered or tested by many of these employers. Kiosk type pictures on a cash-register computer is what they have to work with. Is this not insulting to a student who has studied computer science, read and write computer programs and its languages, as well as other academics of study? 

Why is it that many non-ivy league students find themselves out of work? Why is it that many of them find that they are the first to lose their employment positions compared to their ivy-league colleagues? Why is it that many inner-city college educated graduates find themselves less likely to be selected as team-leaders than their counter part ivy-leaguers? Many employers advertise their openings with statements that don’t require a college level education. They ask that candidates simply have a high school level education. College educated candidates apply to those openings and find themselves scrutinized out of the running, i.e., background checks, credit checks, criminal histories, schooling activities, etc. Why is it college educated candidates find that not only do they have to compete with ivy-leaguers, they have to compete with high school educated folks as well. What is the sense in enduring hours, years, and other sacrifices to attain the coveted two and/or four-year college level degree when you’re not going to qualify for the job anyway? 

The notion of accreditation, money, and notable stature should not be the basis of choosing the collegiate route to education. Education should be based on ones ability to achieve, retain, and utilize education. The achievement of education begins in the home (as well as anyone who desires it). It begins with the Childs’ upbringing and the stressed importance placed by the parent and/or guardian. Should the child be highly scholastic in abilities that enable him/her to be described as intellectually talented above average, that student deserves free college education. While the rest of us who are collegiate material may well have to pay for our higher education. Mind you, my argument is based on the ability to access education without having to spend money…teachers need to earn a living, schools need to pay the costs of operating and maintaining buildings and staff. So the money has to come from somewhere. Albeit, the aforementioned disparages between different colleges should cease the practice of who’s a better institution of higher learning. Is it the responsibility of educated people to enlighten people who are not?

While many may not be aware, education is achievable without attending so-called accredited and/or less accredited schools, of higher learning…start with the libraries in your homes as well as the public facilities, news papers, magazines, shared information, and articles. Why is the education attained by others kept to a level of secrecy that one should have to pay for it?

Attained and acquired education is the responsibility of the educational pursuer…the burden is placed solely on the student not the educational pursued. I’m not advocating that one can become a doctor, architect, or a lawyer by simply reading text…there is a difference between education and training.

Education is yours to achieve and it can be free.

Acknowledgements:

Dictionary.com

Biography of William Still

Biography of the Berean Institute

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Invest in Your Small Business With Equipment Leasing

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If you’re running a small business, now is the time to think big, whether you are looking at expanding via equipment leasing or purchasing new business equipment assets.

The Federal Government’s focus on small business in the May budget was designed to encourage small business growth through tax cuts as well as measures to reduce red tape, promote more start-ups and hire more employees.

Many business owners will be taking advantage of the opportunity to receive an immediate tax deduction on every asset they purchase valued up to $20,000. Cars, utes, tables, chairs, printers, photocopiers, tools, TVs, sound and security systems, computers, tablets and smartphones are just some of the assets that can be deducted until the end of June 2017.

Short on capital? Try equipment leasing

While these tax deductions are great news for many small business, what about those who don’t have the capital available to purchase assets?

If you are a small business in this situation, equipment leasing may be your ideal ‘think big’ solution. Rather than buying machinery, equipment or cars, a lease enables you to rent them for a manageable monthly payment. At the end of the lease term, you have the flexibility to return, upgrade or continue to rent.

Leasing enables you to enjoy instant access to the tools you need to grow your business, while at the same time freeing up cash flow. Given lease payments are fixed, you can plan cash flow around a known cost, enabling you to stay ‘cash flow positive’.

With record low interest rates making leasing a viable option for any business looking to acquire an asset, whether it’s new kitchen equipment if you run a café, new tools if you’re a tradie or a new computer if you have a home office.

Leasing can be particularly useful if you need to update equipment but you’re not in a position to purchase, or your business relies on expensive equipment that goes out of date quickly.

There are also tax advantages to leasing. Under a leasing arrangement, the business does not own the equipment for tax purposes because the financier is the one who has bought the equipment and leased it to you. This means you do not have a depreciating asset on your books and do not need to pay GST on the purchase price of the equipment.

Lease repayments may be tax deductible and although GST is charged on these repayments, your tax agent or the Australian Taxation Office will be able to advise you of the possibility of claiming these via your company’s Business Activity Statement.

Want to know more about equipment leasing or Novated Leasing for motor vehicles? A mortgage broker can point you in the right direction.

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