Seeing is believing! That’s the theme of our recent activities while hosting the Leadfoot Foundation’s 4th Annual Youth Empowerment Car Show charity event. The objective of the event is to provide back-to-school essentials to the underserved community from which I grew up. Notwithstanding is the wealth of talent and vision of these young people to make a difference in our ever changing world, the Leadfoot Foundation takes great pride in providing a vehicle to help cultivate these dreams. Although there were overcast for much of the event, interaction with tomorrow’s future provided all the sunshine and optimism one could ask for. I recall one conversation with a young man who when asked what he wanted to be when he grew up quickly stated, “a mechanic!” Given that he and I were engaged in a one-on-one conversation I asked why. He expressed his desire to work with cars and I could see his passion for the automobile in his eyes. I then went on to ask if he knew anything about engineering, specifically mechanical engineering. He told me it had something to do with designing things, although he revealed he had never met a mechanical engineer or any engineer for that matter. I went on to explain how mechanical engineering was the cornerstone for automotive ingenuity. He not only expressed an interest but was very inquisitive about the opportunities mechanical engineering could provide. Of course I saw this as the perfect time to let the cat out of the bag. When I told him I went to school for mechanical engineering and worked in the automotive industry as a mechanical engineer I could see the light bulb go off in his head. With great excitement in his voice he said, “But you drive the Pepsi race car.” Of course I acknowledged my chosen career path I did not want to lose site of how education is and will remain an integral part of my life and it’s contribution to me living my dream.
Ultimately I felt as if that young man was inspired by our conversation and my sincere desire is that our conversation gave him a broader perspective to the world around him. There were many other conversations with the hundreds of aspiring minds in attendance; however that one stuck out to me the most. In addition to the inspirational conversations I was overjoyed to see each and every one of the young people leave with a bundle of school supplies courtesy of the many contributors to our annual event. The goals of the event have remained firm since it’s inception but the vehicle we employed to achieve them changed drastically this year. We asked that attendees bring a minimum of $10 in unopened school supplies. To see the outpour of support from the community was simply something special. The Leadfoot Foundation and the committee who work tirelessly throughout the year to make this event a success are already hard at work on next years 5th annual event. I am more than looking forward to the event. I know with tactical hard work it will even more exceptional with a greater impact! To all who donated, THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!” To our next generation, “Here’s to a successful and productive school year!” Until next… Live Fast, Drive Hard!!!