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NASCAR Diversity Internship Program Welcomes 2016 class

NASCAR Diversity Internship Class of 2016

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 23, 2016) – Twenty-six of the best and brightest college students from across the country and abroad ventured to Charlotte Motor Speedway this past weekend as the sport introduced the 2016 NASCAR Diversity Internship Program (NDIP) class at the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Weekend. 


The 10-week, paid program exposes multicultural college students to employment opportunities within America’s number one motorsport, whether in departments within the sanctioning body or with organizations that NASCAR partners with to enhance the fan experience both on and off the race track. Through an all-inclusive orientation experience, the interns gain a behind-the-scenes look at the business of the sport and insight into prospective careers in motorsports. "


The NASCAR Diversity Internship Program has grown to become one of the most popular and attractive internships in sports," said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. "This program has given talented students an opportunity to gain relevant work experience and opportunities for careers in our industry since 2000." 


NDIP continues to grow in popularity year over year. The key to that growth is the ongoing support of industry partners. Companies such as International Speedway Corporation, Roush Fenway Racing, Rev Racing, Daytona International Speedway, Octagon and Taylor have been longstanding supporters of NDIP. Recent partners include Toyota, Switch and Pocono Raceway. These valued partners increase the number of internship opportunities for young talent and contribute to the program's overall success.    


Interns will work in multiple departments including in the areas of engineering, finance, marketing, licensing and public relations. In addition to receiving hand-on experience, the interns will also participate in professional development workshops, networking events and volunteer opportunities throughout their internship experience.


Victoria Kim, a recent graduate of Penn State, participated in the program last summer. Kim also received the NASCAR Diversity Outstanding Intern Award at the 2016 NASCAR Diversity Awards and was recently hired at NASCAR.


"The NASCAR Diversity Internship Program was an incredible opportunity to get a hands-on, behind-the-scenes look at NASCAR," Kim said. "NDIP was a stepping stone and helped me get to where I am today, a full-time employee in the Daytona office for the Touring Series Racing Operations. I am grateful to have been a part of the NDIP class of 2015 and am thankful for the opportunity to pursue my dreams."


More than 300 interns have participated in the NDIP since its inception, and many secured full-time jobs in motorsports following their internships. Recent graduates have found roles at Phoenix International Raceway, Richard Petty Motorsports, event marketing agency Switch, and many other companies tied to the industry.  


Several NDIP alumni are now employed at NASCAR within multiple business units, including: Brandon Thompson, director, racing operations; Marvin Aylor Jr., manager, marketing; Lauren Houston, senior account executive, multicultural development; Kathryn Lee, manager, events; Jusan Hamilton, senior account executive, industry operations; Ade Herbert, senior coordinator, social media; Jason Simmons, licensing account coordinator; Victoria Kim, coordinator touring series operations and Cameron McCarty, pit road technician.


"The NASCAR Diversity Internship Program has proven to be an effective pipeline for hiring top talent across the industry," said Paula Miller, NASCAR senior vice president and chief human resources officer. "We have hired several former interns who are important contributors to the sport's continued growth."


The 2016 class participated in NASCAR 101 and received guided tours of the NASCAR Research & Development Center, NASCAR Hall of Fame and Charlotte Motor Speedway before watching the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. 


The class includes the following students from colleges and universities across the country:

NASCAR Diversity Internship Class of 2016
Name Department/Organization University Hometown
Adrianne Bright Switch Central Michigan University Flint, Mich.
Andre Reimer NASCAR Business Development Liberty University Sao Paulo, Brazil
Antonio Russo Pocono Raceway Drexel University Valencia, Venezuela
Ariadna Jaramillo NASCAR Public Affairs University of California, Berkeley, School of Law Ibarra, Ecuador
Cameron Joe NASCAR Legal Indiana University - Maurer School of Law Charlotte, N.C.
Chelsea Reaves NASCAR Weekly Touring University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Raleigh, N.C.
Colette Garcia NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications University of Southern California New York, N.Y.
Felix Santana Toyota New Jersey Institute of Technology Franklin, N.J.
Gregory Carty NASCAR Licensing Winston-Salem State University Durham, N.C.
Ian Jenkins NASCAR Brand Platforms Marketing East Tennessee University Birmingham, Ala.
Isabel D'Elia NASCAR Green Innovation University of San Diego Caracas, Venezuela
Jade McCrary ISC Marketing Florida A&M University Daytona Beach, Fla.
Jasmine Lewis Daytona International Speedway Full Sail University Chicago, Ill.
Jasmine Neely Taylor University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Charlotte, N.C.
Jorge Jones Rev Racing University of the Incarnate Word San Antonio, TX
Keani Chinn NASCAR Finance Shephard University Honolulu, HI
Keyzza Plaza NASCAR Production Engineering University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez Toa Alta, Puerto Rico
Michael Fernandez NASCAR Creative Design The Art Institute of Charlotte FairLawn, N.J.
Michael Rueda Roush Fenway Racing University of Virginia Ashburn, Va.
Peri Karslioglu The NASCAR Foundation Syracuse University Fairfax Station, Va.
Rebecca Toro Condori NASCAR Market Research/Industry Services Virginia Technical University Fairfax, Va.
Sajani Patel NASCAR Human Resources Armstrong State University Savannah, Ga.
Shirley Mendez NASCAR Digital Media North Carolina State University Charlotte, N.C.
Sydnei Fryson NASCAR Multicultural Development Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Charleston, W.V.
Vanessa Watson Octagon University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Kenly, N.C.
Whitney Martin NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications North Carolina A&T University Charlottesvile, Va.

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