NHRA’s Youth & Education Services program presented by the U.S. Army, the first and only program of its kind in the world of motorsports, is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2013 and continues to inspire and provide career guidance to thousands of high school and college students all across the U.S.
Created in 1989 as way to connect education and drag racing, the YES program is a one-day event held at 12 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events each season. It is motorsports’ first and only full-time program devoted exclusively to educational programming. The YES program demonstrates to young men and women the variety of career opportunities within motorsports, the U.S. Army, and the automotive industry.
The central themes of the YES program are the need for continued education; the value of job-specific training; the relevance of establishing clear, attainable goals; and awareness of the variety of career options surrounding motorsports.
“NHRA is very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish through the YES program during the last 25 years,” said Gary Darcy, NHRA senior vice president of sales and marketing. “It has been a very important tool for the NHRA that helps us reach out to today’s youth and offer some guidance and direction as they begin to make choices for a career path, including the importance of education, goal-setting, and good citizenship. The U.S. Army and our outstanding group of YES partners have been extremely important in helping to implement the mission of the program, and we want to thank them for all they’ve done over the years to enhance and contribute to the program’s success.”
Those joining the U.S. Army as key partners in the NHRA YES program in 2013 include Mercedes-Benz, Universal Technical Institute, Beat the Heat, Lincoln Technical Institute, AAA, Skills USA, and B.R.A.K.E.S.
While attending the YES program at an NHRA Mello Yello Series event, students visit the interactive midway that includes booths set up by career- and education-focused partners. They also attend a short panel discussion that is headlined by seven-time Top Fuel world champion and U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony Schumacher and others from the NHRA community. Speakers encourage students to think about how the decisions they make today will affect their career opportunities later in life. When the panel discussion is complete, the attendees are encouraged to stay and watch that day’s racing.
Since 2000, the U.S. Army has partnered with NHRA to present the YES program. The U.S. Army offers a variety of experiences for NHRA fans of all ages, from the Army Strong Interactive Zone displays in Nitro Alley to its marquee series of special programs offered at the track and in the classroom focused on teaching area youth the value of education and the importance of embodying the Army Strong characteristics of mental, emotional, and physical strength. With the U.S. Army’s involvement, NHRA is able to provide more than 25,000 youth around the country the opportunity to participate in the YES program each year. For more information about the NHRA YES program, log on to NHRA.com/yes.