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Hermosa Elementary School principal Mike Worley, far right, introduces James Torrez, far left, and CJ Torrez, center, of Demented Customs of Hobbs. (Teresa Lemon – Daily Press)

James Torrez, owner of Demented Customs in Hobbs, was the guest speaker during Thursday’s Hermosa Elementary School Family Night.

Principal Mike Worley and his committee of teachers came up with an idea to connect parents with students in a way that was “something out of the norm — other than a science night or simply reading to the kids.” And from that, the idea, hatched and implemented with the help of Debbie Bell and HollyFrontier, to have Torrez and his sons, CJ and Gerald, speak with students and parents, then issue a challenge.

James, CJ and Gerald Torrez own and operate Demented Customs, where they build and customize cars. They were the builders and customizers for the NFL’s “Trick My Ride” and have also customized cars for “Pawn Stars” and the “Fast and the Furious 7.” Torrez raised his three sons as a single father in Hobbs and told the crowd, “I know what it’s like to grow up in a rough town with alcoholic and drug-addicted parents and no encouragement, but to continue to dream and be able to make something of myself.”

He came to challenge the students at Hermosa to “dream big” and work alongside their parents on that dream.

HollyFrontier also purchased 340 “kit cars,” one for every student at Hermosa, and 150 pizzas to feed the students and their parents during the Family Night, and Worley challenged the kids to take the cars home and build them with their parents or caregivers.

“The only rule is that you can’t do it alone,” Worley said. “You must build it as a team with your parent or caregiver.”

The cars may be customized to each individual student’s ideas, and the school will then hold a car show in the near future, for which Torrez and his sons will return to judge and bring one of the life-sized custom cars they have built together as a team.

Torrez urged parents to “encourage your kids to chase their dreams.”

“Success is inevitable when you dream big,” he said, “and my sons and I are living proof.”