To keep graduates and the community safe on one of the deadliest nights on the year, graduation night. Giving graduates a safe drug and alcohol-free way to celebrate this life achievement.
Project Graduation is a lock-in event held at three local high schools allowing graduating seniors the opportunity to enjoy an all-night party on campus under the supervision of adults instead of taking to the streets and house parties to celebrate. The concept isn’t an Oro Valley invention by any means but was started locally nearly two decades ago by former council member Mary Snider. Before her stead in Oro Valley, Snider and her family lived in California and experienced the community-wide benefit of hosting students at the high school. "The energy on graduation night can sometimes be fatal and dangerous, so we want to provide them an alternative activity, and for 17 years, it’s been sold out," Snider said. "Kids come and they love it, and now it’s legendary." When Snider moved to town, she knew in her heart the public would benefit from such an initiative-so she brought the idea to Oro Valley Police Department Chief Daniel Sharp. It wasn’t a difficult sell, and the rest is history. "Our most valuable renewable resource is the youth," Sharp said. "The fact that the community sees that and comes out year after year...That’s what makes Oro Valley special; how the community rallies and takes care of our kids."