Drag School USA

Changing Young Lives through HISTORY and the experiences of others.

A National Mission... Welcome to AMERICA'S GREATEST YOUTH PROGRAMS

PARENTS AWAKE!

In 2017 33 soldiers were killed in the Iraq War.  In 2017, 3255 teens ages 15-19 were killed in America's auto crashes.  It is the No. 1 killer of teens and young adults.  There is no 100% cure for this generational killer of youth, but there are inventive programs that present opportunity to change the mindset of youth before they make that poor choice that results in loss of life.   The Drag School Program is our primary program and a resource for "Youth Trauma" when a teen or young adults reckless behavior behind the wheel took a life.   

The Drag School Program was born out of nearly 50 years of interviews, expereinces and global-wide research into the world of youth.  Some of those youth were the WORLD WAR II teenagers that jumped into Normandy, or landed at Iwo Jima.  It was they who inspired this incredible program with no equal.  Our Drag School Program can be replicated in any community in America.  We are headquartered in York , Pennsylvania and Toledo, Ohio.

 

 BLUNT WORDS IS ABOUT TO BE READ... PARENTS AWAKE!

Welcome to the most unique approach to helping America's troubled youth change the direction and attitude in their lives. 

Our youth programs were NOT created out of loss, but the desire to prevent loss. 

Time and time again we've witnessed a societial indifference in communties and among parents about teenage reckless behavior, particlularly street racing and DUI.  Then, when a group of youth are killed, that communtity raises their voice and the parents of loss become crusaders. 

While these awakened parents in their sorrow serve a positive purpose, filling a void in their community, in reality their voice is a personal mend to their grief and guilt for failing to recongize the risk sooner.  It didn't have to be this way. Hard words, but fact.

Too many parents seem to be complacent, thinking their child is immune to reckless stunts because they are "good students... clean their rooms, have a scholarship awaiting; but they are dead wrong."  Those parents would have done well to remember what "they did" as a teen.  

We have met heart surgeons, professsional racers, lawyers, and one famous man known for finding the TITANIC; all with one thing in common... their sons were killed driving reckless for a momentary thrill.   Their photos now hang in our Drag School classroom as a reminder to all; no one is immune.

Entering our 15th year, the Drag School Program is a model rehabilitation/intervention program to address reckless behavior in young males.   Our efforts are designed to inspire better citizens, fathers and drivers.  However, our mission is to educate community leaders, judicial branch, and certainly the news media to become part of the solution.  This is the core goal of  our Drag School Program. 

Since our class is often made up of teenagers or young adults whose crash took a life, it is also our mission to educate communtities, families, judicial branch and certainly the news media to be part of the solution.   The news media is key and must do more than feed on the tragedy of loss of life.  The Drag School Program addresses a variety of issues affecting young lives, however, our "Youth Trauma" program is something needed in every community to help the flood of confusing emotions that follow a teenage fatality, or when they are the cause of loss of life.

Forty eight years of interviews of the teenagers that were the World War II generation comprise the foundation of our youth projects.  We've met them, lived among them, and now use their experiences to enlighten a generation in trouble, and help those whose poor choice took a life they must now forever face.  

 We're headquartered in York County, Pennsylvania.  717-576-8309

Welcome  to America's National Drag School Youth Projects Inc.

Drag School

Street to Strip 

Tim's Day 

 

 

 

 

Our two youth programs are about:

  • intervention   prevention   responsibility   grief
  • education   citizenship   public safety   fatherhood  

 Photo: Benefactor Clint Hammond piloted a B17 bomber on 33 missions in World War II.  He was only 22 years old.  Clint visited and spoke of his experiences in the Drag school for several years and was a financial support.   He passed in 2015.  

America's National Drag School Youth Projects Inc.

The National Drag School Youth Projects Inc., is an IRS approved 501 (c) 3 organization of volunteers.  There are no paychecks in this community service organization. Most of our funding comes from the donations of families of World War II and Vietnam era veterans, and families that suffered loss in a car crash.  The concept for this project dates to 1968 in the halls of Thomas A DeVilbiss high school in Toledo, Ohio.

 Endorsement  

"The approach you have taken to addressing the carnage and dangers of street racing and other reckless youth behaviors, is actually a model for how a variety of other solutions regarding issues facing young adults in this country could be fashioned."   

Stephen Reed, 2005, 24 year mayor of the capitol city of Pennsylvania and historian

 Drag School: Appreciating Life


The Drag School is a 42-hour/2-week rehabilitation program designed to encourage young males on judicial probation for various non-violent offenses to help them look at their lives and in some instances, accept, the loss of life they may have caused.  The key to a safe and defensive driver is creating one that values life.

Simply said, to value and respect life... 

Throughout the nightly classes of viewing and reading material, tests, discussing and sharing experiences, such moments are enhanced when guest visitors make an appearance.

These visitors include combat survivors and victims of a multitude of life's situations;  including auto crashes, gangs, incarceration, bank robbery, handicaps, cancer, and family loss.  These visitors come from all over America and make their appearance for the benefit of six (6) young males.

SAMPLES OF OUR CLASS TIME STORIES...

Wy Butterfield was a 19-year old teenager that became a man and found that his horrific experiences in World War II gave him pause to "appreciate life."  

During World War II, Butterfield experienced combat in America's  darkest hour.  His ship, USS JUNEAU, was sunk and he was among the very few to survive seven days and nights alone in the ocean with sharks as their companions.   

Wy Butterfield was not a muscular teenager.  He never had a tattoo.  He didn't brag, but he did what was required of him at the time.  He came home from World War II, the memories of an awful experience vivid in his mind, yet he went to work as an electrician and raised a family.  He never had a DUI or cursed the world for his life; he just tried his best to be a good man.  In 1988 Wy Butterfield was among many World War II "teenagers" we sought and interviewed for this future project.

 USING THE EXPERIENCES OF OTHERS TO ENLIGHTEN AND MATURE  

 World War II and other combat situations provide us many examples of teenagers that survived horrific circumstances, and came to have a greater respect and appreciation for life.  William Lloyd of Ohio was another. 

 William Lloyd was only 17 years old when he signed aboard USS FRANKLIN to be counted among the brave boys to defend America.  He had never seen the ocean until then, but he knew it was the right thing to do. 

While USS FRANKLIN was off the coast of Japan in the far Pacific it was assaulted by an enemy plane.  The assault left the ship an exploding and blazing inferno.  Lloyd and many other young boys were trapped below for hours as the ship raged with fire and exploding ammunition.  Many died. 

The horrific experience of the crew of the USS FRANKLIN was captured on Navy combat film and later in a recently released (2012) film noting how many of the crew were subjected to indignation when they were blown overboard, but wrongly accused of leaving the ship while under attack.  We use that film in our classroom as it depicts young people "wrongly accused"... vs those in our classroom whom are guilty of their DUI and must accept that, holding no malice toward the police that arrested them, or the judge that took away their license.     

William Lloyd has since passed away, but not before we had opportunity to meet him and his family.  Those experiences gave William Lloyd a profound wisdom about life and just how precious it is; it is the message we pass along in the Drag School.

  

OUR STUDENTS LEARN THAT WHAT THEY THOUGHT WAS A "BAD DAY" FOR THEM WHEN THEY GOT CAUGHT IN A DUI... WAS  REALLY A PROBLEM OF THEIR OWN DOING.

On a sunny day in November 2008, 23 year-old Dallas Wiens of Fort Worth, Texas was working at his church painting the steeple when he hit a power line.  The contact should have killed him, but he survived.  However not without the complete annihilation of his facial features and he was rendered blind.  In 2011, Dallas underwent the first full face transplant in America.  His story is told in video and news accounts and provides the Drag School participants pause to reflect on their current situation in the judicial system... a problem they can correct. 

Dallas Wiens' story is one of numerous stories the class will read, view and absorb.   

 

 

All donations are tax-deductible and compensate no one.  We recognize all donations and you will receive a color copy of our popular annual newsletter, The SEARCHLIGHT every April.  Thank you

Make your checks payable to:

National Drag School Youth Projects Inc., 

PO Box 78, Lewisberry, PA 17339      dragschoolusa@aol.com

717 576 8309

 

Community Street to Strip     Our #2 youth progarm


 

Teenage recklessness in their vehicles is nothing new... and it can only be effectively addressed through community interaction with youth.  

 
Street to Strip is a "prevention and citizenship" program.  It is our #2 youth program and continues throughout the summer into OCtober and concludes during National Teen Safe Driver Week.  The program is a very successful counter punch to street racing activity and other reckless conduct on public streets. Street to Strip is also an opportunity for youth to interact with local police and also learn about citizenship.

Street to Strip; A youth safety and prevention program

 In the early spring of 2005 the news reports of teenagers street racing and other reckless behaviors in their vehicles were frightening on the streets around the capitol region of Pennsylvania.  It was not a new phenomenon, just one that was getting the attention of television news. 

It was then that the founder (known as "Cowboy") of the Drag School Project decided to create a summer-long program for area youth.  He was hoping to lure some of the "at risk" young drivers from the street into a safe, legal venue to exercise their thrill seeking interests, while also creating a bond to education them on street safety.  It was the beginning of a police endorsed safety program that continues to this day; a program where the police themselves participate. 

 How serious are youth auto crash fatalities?

Teenage deaths from auto crashes are on the rise again.  In 2013 nearly 2200 teens, ages 16-19 were killed.  In 2017 the number reached 3255.  That is more than six teen deaths per day.  Most folks believe that the death rate is due to distracted driving (ie cell phone use).  However, the truth is that before cell phones were invented, auto crashes were already the No.1 killer of ages 16-24.  It remains so.  

In the month of January 2015, dozens of teenagers were killed in auto crashes involving reckless conduct, alcohol, and inexperience.  Among them were a brother and sister that were killed only 15 minutes after the school bell dismissed them from class in Wilmington, California. 

 National Drag School Youth Project inc.

PO Box 78

Lewisberry, PA 17339    dragschoolusa@aol.com

The Story behind the creation of the Drag School Project

Stevenson's time at Thomas A. DeVilbiss High School in Toledo, Ohio was not the best of times for Michael Stevenson, but it was a learning experience that shaped his future.  

Stevenson was bullied at home by a half brother and bullied at school by more.  His gym teacher was a World War II veteran at the tender age of 17.  He inspired Stevenson to learn more about the Navy action in World War II.  So Stevenson turned to reading World War II history in the school library.  The stories changed his life.


What 16-year old Michael Stevenson read empowered him to endure his bullies, but it also made him realize the great debt of gratitude we owe those youthful defenders of America.  What struck Stevenson most was that most of those in World War II were teenagers, some Stevenson's age. 

However, the teenage Stevenson also engaged in risky street racing, never thinking he was harming anyone, or that anything bad would happen.  Stevenson sorely wanted to go to the new Milan Dragway [Michigan], but had no idea what to do or who to ask  [It would take 30 years of life before Michael "Cowboy" Stevenson finally visited a drag strip... and where he would create a program he wished someone would have done for him].

After high school Stevenson joined the Navy and spent a short time aboard USS HENLEY as a signalman.  Stevenson surely kept one promise he made in high school; to seek out and meet as many World War II veterans as he could, including those he read about in high school.  

In 1972 Stevenson began a quest to create a publication to honor America's veterans and serving military; Navy Life.  Stevenson subsequently not only became a frequent visitor to Veterans' Homes, but also attended more than 60 World War II reunions and brought many long lost veterans together.  He met veterans that fought in combat as young as 12-years old, and interviewed some that were over 100.   He's interviewed a Titanic survivor, two Presidents, and a long list of the famous and footnotes in history.

The wisdom and stories passed onto Stevenson became the foundation of the youth projects he would later create to help young people, as they had inspired and helped him.  

 

Mitchell M. "Hood" Stevenson 1976-2013

In memory of a boy that encouraged his father to create this great project to help young males rise above their issues in life.

Mitchell needed help for childhood victimization trauma he suffered.  It never happened due to corruption and failures within the judicial system in Rhode Island.  He grew into an angry young man as a result of not addressing those issues. 

He was murdered on Father's Day, June 16, 2013, when his anger issues  caused him to speak threatening words of provocation to his best friend.  His friend shot Mitchell to death, then took his own life too.  

The Stevenson family story will be published in a new book called, Dead-to-Rights.   Publication is planned for later 2020 describing the events that brought about Mitchell's death.