The Community Makerspace is available to reserve on 6/15.

RCMAKES Engineers $250,000 in Startup Funding

Persistence Partners Co-Founder Invests in the Future of School-Based Enterprise

Camarillo, CA - April 04, 2017

RCMAKES, a student-operated business at Rancho Campana High School, is launching with $250,000 in startup funding from engineer, entrepreneur and venture capitalist Dave Gross and his wife, Dawn Gross, Braille Manager at the Alternate Text Production Center. Mr. Gross currently teaches engineering and business classes offered at Rancho Campana through a partnership with the Ventura County Office of Education and Oxnard Union High School District. Mr.Gross will volunteer as general manager of the new venture.

“We are providing entrepreneurial experiences in a mentor-apprentice environment with genuine private-sector responsibility, accountability and pride-of-ownership,“ says Gross. “The student-managed Community Makerspace, Retail Store and Job Shop introduce students to local businesses and develop real-world skills. Students experience the latest technologies for engineering, manufacturing and business management.”

RCMAKES evolved from two years of collaborative planning and volunteer work at the new academy high school, where project-based learning and work-based learning are integral to the curriculum. All students at the school are encouraged to intern in their senior year. “Applying both academic learning with hands-on technical skills leads to more meaningful internships,” continues Gross. “The students are building a startup company from the ground up. They address all of the diverse aspects of that real-world challenge while simultaneously gaining specific career-path experience.”

Roger Adams, Principal at Rancho shared with us, “The addition of an agile, self-funded, independent organization allows spending flexibility and speed of execution that enhances our mission to provide meaningful work-based learning opportunities to our students. RCMAKES is a pathway accelerator that helps prepare for post-secondary study and a career in any field.”


RCMAKES, a 501©(3) non-profit corporation, is an independent student-operated Job Shop and Community Makerspace located on the campus of Rancho Campana High School. RCMAKES provides onsite internships, student employment, earned scholarships, equipment, supplies, and new venture incubation. RCMAKES accelerates work-based learning by means of an entrepreneurial apprenticeship model. RCMAKES is operated in partnership with Oxnard Union High School District and the Ventura County Office of Education. For more information, visit

About Rancho Campana High School

Part of the Oxnard Union High School District, Rancho Campana High School (RCHS) is a public 800-student comprehensive academy high school in Camarillo, California. RCHS offers a rigorous, project-based curriculum in the context of three academies: Engineering, Health and Biological Sciences, and Arts and Entertainment. The facility includes both indoor and outdoor learning spaces for all areas of coursework, as well as a performing arts center that serves both the school and the community. For more information, visit

Contact Dave Gross RCMAKES General Manager