In Job Corps, you can accomplish anything you want, if you’re willing to work. It gave me the perfect path to follow into law enforcement. If you lose sight of your goal for just a minute, you’re going to fail 100 percent of the time. Strive hard to reach your goals, and make Job Corps what you want it to be.
Officer Dago Pates is in line to become one of Kyle, Texas’ next police detectives. But had it not been for Job Corps, he may still be digging ditches for the county. The 2006 graduate of Gary Job Corps Center is currently the Juvenile and Sex Offender Registrant officer for the Kyle Police Department, but he was once a young man taking advantage of every opportunity Job Corps could give him.
Dago began his Job Corps career on the advice of his mother. Having recently lost a job, he was doing part-time work with the county but struggling to find his way.
“I was stuck sitting in my family’s tiny doublewide,” Dago said. “I was miserable and had no idea what I was going to do. Eventually, a friend of my mom’s told her about the Gary center and Job Corps.”
It wasn’t long before Dago was enrolled at Gary Job Corps Center in San Marcos, Texas, in the Corrections and Security training area, working toward a career in law enforcement. While at Gary, Dago had the opportunity to learn under experienced corrections professionals and participate in valuable field experience with security teams. By the time he graduated, Dago had a job awaiting him as a guard with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Keeping his larger career goals in mind, Dago soon took a job with the Travis County Sherriff’s Department, allowing him to work and attend the department’s police academy simultaneously. After completing his time with the academy, Dago worked as a law enforcement professional with the department for over a year, completing additional training in SWAT, DWI, and Action and Reconstruction.
All of that training and experience made him a perfect hire for the Kyle Police Department, where he works today. Recently, Dago was presented with a Law Enforcement Appreciation Award from the Gary Community Relations Council for his service to the community and his work with at-risk youth.