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

A local nonprofit is paving the road to success for at-risk kids. "Drive One Detroit" expands beyond the classroom by offering hands-on life lessons in the technical field.

"We take kids from consortiums and 501 that do not have these types of programs in their facility and we provide them with training in either the automotive body, automotive technician, automotive design - which is clay modeling and drawing - as well as welding and machining," said Paul Tregembo, program director.

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

"There's a huge shortage in the public sector for people who are able to do that," Tregembo said. "This will hopefully fll that gap, and at the same time it provides these kids with a career they can  live on for the rest of their lives."

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

"It's more productive for me to work in this kind of environment where I can earn stuff through being really good or making the credit - we all have to make 0.5 and I try to shoot way over 0.5 and I try to make a full credit each month, so I can graduate on time and maybe even graduate early. The pace I am going is pretty good."

Drive One has produced more than 300 graduates with an 84 percent job placement success rate since the program began nearly 10 years ago.

"I don't ever want a kid to come through this program and leave, that doesn't have a place that they can go, or even a place that they can come back to at some point if they need to. They know they have a future, they know they are going someplace, and that they are going to make it."

The Drive One team will also have a car in the Autorama show in March, the very 1st 1974 Chevrolet Camero Z28.

To learn more about Drive One, go to