Formula Drift Helps At-Risk Youth - Engine Builder Magazine
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Formula Drift Helps At-Risk Youth

Formula Drift has announced a partnership with Acceler8—a California-based automotive education and workforce development program—as part of ongoing community outreach.

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The Acceler8 program pairs volunteer automotive professionals and law enforcement officers with eligible youth to help provide support and stable adult role models. The program aims to help youth complete school, acquire skills and prepare them for jobs in the automotive sector. 

As part of the new partnership, Formula Drift will help Acceler8 reach more communities around the nation, thanks in part to the popularity of the drifting series with a younger automotive enthusiast audience. 

“Everybody at FD feels very strongly that we have a great deal to offer young people – connecting with their hobby, exploring career options and more. We also recognize that Formula Drift can be the first foray into motorsports for many young people [and it’s] often their first visit to a race track,” Formula Drift President Jim Liaw said. “Hopefully, by providing a positive experience, we’re able to lead people down this path. We saw our goals aligned perfectly with the Acceler8 program and we’re delighted to welcome them as our education partner.”


As the education partner for Formula Drift, Acceler8 will invite youth from local communities throughout the 2021 national tour. The students will receive an up-close look at professional drift teams and the automotive industry while speaking to crews, drivers and FD personnel. They will also have the opportunity to watch their favorite drivers perform during the FD weekend.

Acceler8 will also be on-hand at events to demonstrate its automotive educational programs to all attendees, along with highlighting the importance of high school auto shop classes. 

Established by law enforcement personnel, Acceler8 was created for high school students considered “at risk” due to behavior issues, academic status, family situations, and related factors. It also seeks to assist “opportunity youth,” which the Department of Education identifies as those aged 16-24 who are neither enrolled in school nor participating in the labor market. This segment accounts for an estimated 4.6 million young people in the U.S., or about one in nine young adults. Both groups are at risk of gang involvement and subsequent interaction with law enforcement and the court system. 


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