Be Remarkable: Catherine Cole is helping individuals, families with transporation needs in BCS

Dr. Cole is a board member for OnRamp and has helped the organization grow to a successful nonprofit that gifts vehicles and resources to people without a vehicle.
The “Be Remarkable” award is a joint initiative between KBTX-TV and Daniel Stark Injury Lawyers.
Published: Nov. 6, 2023 at 6:13 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Transportation isn’t an option for people who need to get to work or school, or maybe a doctor’s appointment, but not everyone can afford a vehicle.

That’s where an organization called OnRamp can help and for this week’s Be Remarkable segment, we’re spotlighting a board member of the local nonprofit that’s putting more people behind the wheel.

“OnRamp is the best-kept secret,” Dr. Catherine Cole shared with us when we told her she was receiving the award for her work as a board member. Together, she and the rest of the organization have made it possible for OnRamp to gift more than 150 vehicles to people who desperately need a vehicle. Blake Jennings founded the organization.

“Dr. Cole was our first non-family board member to jump on. She has lots of experience leading charitable organizations, and she helped us grow into a large and professional outfit. We now give away 40 to 50 cars a year, and a lot of that is because of the expertise and leadership she brought to help us grow.”

Dr. Cole says joining the organization was a no-brainer thanks to the effort put into it by Blake.

“God gave Blake this amazing vision and a real answer to so many problems in our community: transportation and personal vehicle ownership. It’s related to access to healthcare, getting a better job, getting your kids where you want them to be, and the school you want them to be,” she said, and while Dr. Cole certainly gives an appropriate amount of credit to Blake for beginning the program, but she and other supporters and donors have helped to keep it growing.

She was nominated for the Be Remarkable award by her husband, Keith Cole, who has been supportive from day one.

“She helped transform OnRamp to becoming a much more, I don’t want to say unprofessional organization, but it was a very small mom-and-pop, very well-run group, but because of her background in leading nonprofits and working and teaching at the Bush School, she was able to help take them to the next level, so it just made a lot of sense,” he said.

OnRamp works with advocates from local charitable, government, and religious organizations to identify people in need who are already taking significant steps towards self-sufficiency, but who need a vehicle to continue that journey. OnRamp finds reliable vehicles through purchase or donation and gifts these to its clients so they can get back on the road. They service donated vehicles free of charge for the first year and during that time, OnRamp connects clients with a wealth of resources available through partnering organizations.

“We also help when a client’s transportation needs are best served in alternative ways, such as repairing a broken car or donating Uber cards,” said Dr. Cole.

The “Be Remarkable” award is a joint initiative between KBTX-TV and Daniel Stark Injury Lawyers.

If you have someone you want to nominate for our Be Remarkable campaign click here!