Drive One Detroit vocational school offers hands-on learning for high school students

A local nonprofit is paving the way for at-risk children to succeed. “Drive One Detroit” extends beyond the classroom by offering practical life lessons in the technical field.

“We’re taking kids from consortia and 501s that don’t have those kinds of programs in their facility and we’re giving them training in automotive bodywork, automotive technician, automotive design – which is clay modeling and drawing – as well as in welding and machining,” said Paul Tregembo, program manager.

Skills that will help propel these high school kids into a career.

“There’s a huge shortage in the public sector of people who can do that,” Tregembo said. “It will hopefully fill that gap, and at the same time, it will give these kids a career they can live on for the rest of their lives.”

Aidan Moreno is one of Drive One Detroit’s students. He found this program during the Covid. Virtual learning was not working for him, so he sought it out to continue with a passion for cars.

“It’s more productive for me to work in that kind of environment where I can win things by being really good or doing credit – we all have to do 0.5s and I try to shoot well above 0.5 and I’m trying to do a full credit every month so I can graduate on time and maybe even graduate sooner The pace I’m going is pretty good.

Drive One has produced over 300 graduates with an 84% placement success rate since the program began nearly 10 years ago.

“I never want a child to go through this program and leave, who doesn’t have a place to go, or even a place they can come back to at some point if they need to. They know that they have a future, they know they’re going somewhere and they’re going to get there.”

The Drive One team will also be showcasing a car at the Autorama show in March, the very first 1974 Chevrolet Camero Z28.

To learn more about Drive One, visit driveone.net

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