South Central Los Angeles native and internationally recognized automotive detailer Rigo Santana launched his long-awaited New Generation Kids nonprofit organization on June 15 at the Petersen Automotive Museum. New Generation Kids aims to provide low-income and underserved youth with early training and career opportunities in the automotive detailing industry.

The launch featured detailers from Santana’s New Generation of Detailers Network (NGD) leading a four-hour session with industry suppliers and business leaders offering encouragement, mentorship, and training for indigent youth ages 13-24, currently living on the streets with little or no parental guidance. The organization will provide opportunities for advancement among those living in impoverished circumstances due to no fault of their own.

The launch will be followed up with five full days of detail training at the South Los Angeles Youth Source Center, July 22-26. The New Generation Kids training is part of the City’s YoWatts! programs sponsored by the Los Angeles Economic & Workforce Development Department and coordinated by the center’s Project Coordinator Eddie Nuno.

“I grew up on the streets of South-Central Los Angeles, a first-generation immigrant with no education and very little parental supervision,” Santana explains. “I was in a gang and about to become another sad statistic if it had not been for my introduction into the automotive detailing industry.

“I was fortunate enough to get a job at a car wash where I not only learned responsibility and earned enough money to survive on my own, but it triggered a passion within me that remains until this day, and it introduced me to opportunities few young people in my situation ever get.”