Athena Racing Classes Help Girls Pursue Their Dreams

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And break stereotypes.

As someone who’s experienced the typical “well, you don’t know anything about cars because you’re a girl” narrative, I know how it feels to be disregarded in a male dominated industry. Of course, not all men are like this, but there is a stereotype that surrounds women in the automotive industry. But thanks to companies like Athena Racing, those glass ceilings are being shattered. Athena Racing is doing this by offering classes, including this fall a free virtual class, for girls.

Related: The automotive industry isn’t just for guys anymore.

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Focusing on STEM Education

Athena Racing is a non profit that focuses on helping young women with STEM education. This is especially great for those who are trying to pursue career in automotive, motorsports and transportation industries. As we know, these are industries that tend to appeal more to men than women.

But step aside boys, women are entering the car club. If you don’t know that much about Athena Racing, Loxley Brown is the founder. In April of 2019, Loxley was thinking of a way to help young girls in pursuing careers that are mostly “for the guys.”

The idea that would become Athena Racing was pitched at a lunch with “the guys.” They helped in getting a list of donors and sponsors along with introducing Loxley to the right people. Athena Racing has a team of driving instructors and industry experts who provide an online training program. This in turn truly helps put girls on the right path to pursuing their dreams with STEM education. What Loxley has done is absolutely inspiring and definitely needed.

Related:  Aurora Straus, a teen racecar driver who has Harvard on her radar.

Free Online Workshops

As we all know, COVID has impacted everyone all around the world. With schools being shut down, Athena Racing decided to continue to continue empowering girls through education. They created a free online workshop series in partnership with Team Ponderosa who will be competing in an all women’s off-road rally, Rebelle Rally, this October. The topics discussed include project management, racing skills, navigation & map reading and related assignments and projects for girls age 9-17.

Related:  16 year old, Hailie Deegan aka “Dirt Princess” is showing Nascar what women can actually do!

What is Team Ponderosa and Rebelle Rally?

Rebelle Rally is the first women’s off road navigation rally in the U.S. An 8 day competition, it’s not a speed focused race, but rather, a race against the elements, time, and distance. Team Ponderosa, with Sara Swenson and Erin Vogel competing in a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, is one of the teams Athena Racing workshop series is partnering with.

Rebelle competitors are not allowed to use a fancy navigation system or a cell phone. They are provided with a map, compass, and road book. Most of us rely heavily on smartphones and technology for getting where we are going, but wouldn’t it be great to have these skills as a backup, just in case? One of the reasons I personally wanted to learn how to drive manual (and I’ve been driving manual cars for almost two decades) was as a just in case. Manual cars aren’t as common anymore, but it is a skill I wanted to have. Rebelle Rally is a just in case race, testing competitors true skills.

Team Ponderosa first became an idea when Sara and Erin wanted to compete in the 2020 Rebelle Rally. Sara said, “Well, I know how to find the most efficient route from Point A to Point B, and you know how to drive that route really, really fast.”  So, Erin will drive for Team Ponderosa; Sara will navigate. For Erin this is a natural; she has been racing cars since she was a child. And off the rally both women are absolutely impressive. Erin is also the fourth-generation owner of Vogel Properties, Inc. and Sara is the VP of product at PetDesk.

Related:  Lessons with Rebelle Rally Founder, Emily Miller.

Will You Sign Your Girls Up?

The deadline to sign up for this free workshop from Athena Racing has passed, but there are many other programs designed to help young women build knowledge and confidence in pursuing their dreams. And not be pushed to the side because “they’re a girl.” Because that’s how stereotypes are broken!

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Monica is a Centenary University grad with her MBA. She was always a creative person, and found that creating... More about Monica Siembieda