'If I can do it, you can,' East Side native tells Howland students


Joe Dragovich started life on Youngstown’s East Side “poor and on welfare.”

“Life’s tough. Nobody said it was going to be easy,” Dragovich told students Tuesday at Howland High School during a “Faces of Heroin” presentation.

Dragovich is former post commander for the Ohio State Highway Patrol who is now chief deputy for the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office.

“Life’s about choices,” he said. “I ran around with a crowd that didn’t make the same choices that I did. I was always lucky enough, or I think I feared my mom enough not to do what they did,” he said. “They’d go one way. I’d go the other way.”

But Dragovich “never thought for a second I would be in the position I am now,” he said.

Through the highway patrol, he’s met presidents. And he’s been to places such as Hawaii, Ireland, Alaska and Italy. “I’m not saying this to brag. I’m saying I’m no better than any of you out there, and I’m saying if I can do it, you can.”

Read more of his story in Wednesday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.

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