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NASCAR Diversity Intern program participants 2018
John K Harrelson

NASCAR Diversity Internship Program welcomes largest class since inception

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The NASCAR Diversity Internship Program (NDIP) will welcome its largest class in program history during 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race weekend, NASCAR® announced today.

More than 30 top students from across the country have arrived in Charlotte for orientation at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the NASCAR Hall of Fame and other racing venues before attending the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race on May 19 (8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90). Following orientation, the interns will officially begin the 10-week, paid program.

Since its inception in 2000, NDIP has offered a select group of students from diverse backgrounds a unique hands-on experience in the motorsports industry. The program has grown to include several industry partners and continues to provide career opportunities for multicultural students as one of the premier internships in sports.

“NASCAR is committed to enhancing diversity both on and off the track and the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program has opened doors for hundreds of students to explore a career in motorsports,” said Paula Miller, NASCAR senior vice president and chief human resources officer. “Many of our interns have been hired as full-time employees and now are helping to lead NASCAR into the future — a great testament to the value and success of NDIP.”

Among the notable NDIP alumni are Brandon Thompson, managing director of the NASCAR Touring Series, and Jusan Hamilton, who last year became the first African American to serve as race director for a NASCAR national series event. Hamilton also oversees the NASCAR Drive for Diversity driver and crew member development programs.

Erica Wilkerson, another NDIP alum, now works in youth marketing at NASCAR and manages NASCAR Acceleration Nation, the sport’s first national youth platform. Pedro Mojica interned with Rev Racing and the NASCAR Research and Development Center before joining International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) as a technical engineer.

The 2018 NDIP class will have roles at NASCAR and program partners across the industry which include International Speedway Corporation (ISC), Toyota, Motor Racing Network (MRN) and several tracks and teams.

Throughout the program, interns will interact with industry professionals at an array of networking events and lunch-and-learns led by NASCAR executives. The interns will also have access to mentors and NDIP alumni currently working at the sanctioning body and partner organizations.

Many of the interns will participate in their first NASCAR experience during Monster Energy NASCAR All- Star Race weekend. The experience will include guided tours of the NASCAR R&D Center, MRN studios and Roush Fenway Racing.

The interns will also meet Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series™ driver and NASCAR Drive for Diversity graduate Darrell Wallace Jr., the highest placing African-American driver in DAYTONA 500 history.

NDIP is open to sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate-level college students and offers hands-on experience with one of the top sports industries in the country. The internship provides opportunities to multicultural students from all majors with a minimum grade point average of 3.0.

The 2018 NASCAR Diversity Internship Program class includes:

Name

Department

University

Genesis Acosta NASCAR & ISC Human Resources Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Maria Aleman NASCAR Research & Development North Carolina State University
Ariel Cavazos ISC Legal Florida A&M University College of Law
Nikhaule Chandler Motor Racing Network North Carolina A&T State University
Sally Chung ISC Finance Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Chandler Coley Roush Fenway Racing University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Brijea Daniel Richard Childress Racing University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Brandon Escamilla NASCAR Driver Marketing Texas Southern University
Grant Floto Michigan International Speedway University of Michigan
Taylor Harris Gateway Motorsports Park Hampton University
Zachary Hernandez Chicagoland Speedway Lewis University
Asia Hirschenson ISC Partnership Marketing Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Jorge Jones NASCAR Hispanic & Youth Marketing University of the Incarnate Word
Kevin Joseph NASCAR Research & Development California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Henry Lanear Kansas Speedway Rice University
Kenneth Lee Talladega Superspeedway Tuskegee University
Nealyn Lee NASCAR Finance Bethune-Cookman University
Zue Lopez Diaz NASCAR Public Affairs Florida International University
Olivia Messineo NASCAR Digital Media SUNY Cortland
Maxwell Miranda NASCAR Licensing Mercer University
Carlena Neely Toyota University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Hyleah O’Quinn NASCAR Green Innovation University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law
Kushagra Pandey NASCAR Analytics & Insights George Washington University
Sonya Patel NASCAR Legal University of California, Hastings College of the Law
Jay Patel NASCAR Productions University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Darwin Patterson NASCAR Digital Media University of Florida
Kirby Paulson NASCAR Integrated Marketing Comms. Quinnipiac University
Malaney Sanders NASCAR Weekly & Touring University of Arkansas
Julia Siguenza NASCAR Broadcast Towson University
Steven Sosa ISC Digital & Interactive Communications University of Central Florida
Ivana Valdez NASCAR Green-Hotels for Hope University of Texas
Isaiah Wright Richmond Raceway Virginia State University
Lucia Zapata Daytona International Speedway University of Central Florida
Claudia Zapata NASCAR Foundation University of the Incarnate Word