The Rio Arriba Community Empowerment (R.A.C.E.) Project is a federally funded grant program through the NM-High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) and was founded by the Northern New Mexico Implementation Team (NNMIT), ran by the City of Española. The NNMIT researches community drug trends and delivers best practice strategies to support drug free events. Project R.A.C.E. is Drug prevention Initiative using an Economic perspective to target the rates of drug use, student graduation, delinquency, and crime in Rio Arriba County and the Española area. The idea is that the business community will come together to support High School students with job mentoring and through employment positions that will redirect the students to a life of positive reinforcement.
HOW DOES PROJECT R.A.C.E. WORK?
Participants can be referred to the program by anyone within the community, or from within the Española Valley Secondary Schools system. Student participation is based on their willingness to get, and obtain employment within the community. Participants are required to fill out a Project R.A.C.E. application, submit a short essay, sign a code of conduct, and give (or deny) us permission on a photo release form (parent or guardian signature required for anyone under the age of 18 years), as their intake for the Project R.A.C.E. After all paperwork is received, we offer one on one mentoring where the student will undergo career readiness and job training. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Career Cruising Portfolio
- Resume Building
- Cover letter training
- Interview skills
- Mock Interviewing
- Professional Dress
- Reliability, Resiliency, & Mentor-ship
- Community Service
If participants complete training in each of the listed bullet points, they will receive a certificate of completion from our program. The ultimate hope is that the participant gains a paid job placement within the community. Participants are required to undergo a drug screening at our expense, prior to job placement. We attempt to find a match for the participant and the business. However, we do not pay student salaries. We partner with community businesses, who are willing to host a Project R.A.C.E. participant and eventually employ them!