DRAGG is a youth automotive after-school program that encourages kids to stay in high school and work toward graduation by providing an incentive in the automotive industry through career exploration.
In 2009, the DRAGG program was created by two Oxnard Police Department officers in response to the alarming rate of local youth making life-altering choices such as dropping out of high school, committing crimes, and entering the juvenile justice system. To date, DRAGG has reached over 500 Ventura County youth in its 9-year history. The program currently operates in nine schools within the Oxnard Union High School District, with students participating in after-school classes two days per week.
DRAGG’s mission is to provide an alternative to gangs, graffiti, and other misconduct through a positive workforce training opportunity in the unique environment of the automotive and trade industry. The DRAGG program has operated in Ventura County high schools since 2011, serving at-risk students related to criminal involvement, gang participation, dropping out of school, substance abuse, and other poor life choices.
DRAGG leverages the shared enthusiasm within the automotive industry by providing a common interest for students and mentors while building a positive connection. This creates an effective learning environment that leads to DRAGG students completing high school. Acquiring skills and referrals in the lucrative automotive and trade fields will lead them successfully into the workforce after graduation. Most importantly, students develop positive relationships with mentors in law enforcement and education, often receiving guidance and structure at a critical time in their transition to adulthood.