UPS Racing Scholarships Help Students Race To The Finish
Program Continues to Propel Minorities Into Auto-Related Careers
ATLANTA, Nov. 17, 2004 -- As part of the company's sustained commitment to promote diversity in NASCAR, UPS (NYSE: UPS) today announced another five recipients of the UPS Racing Technical Edge Scholarship.
To date, UPS has provided more than $230,000[UPS1] [AF2] in scholarship funds to minority students pursuing careers in racing and automotive technology.
This marks the third year UPS has helped pave the way for minorities to succeed in motorsports and other automotive-related careers by providing financial assistance to select students enrolled at the NASCAR Technical Institute (NTI) in suburban Charlotte. Designed as the premier training ground for NASCAR hopefuls, NTI is an extension of Arizona-based Universal Technical Institute and combines an automotive technology curriculum with NASCAR-specific coursework.
Administered by Scholarship America of St. Peter, Minn., candidates for the UPS Racing Technical Edge Scholarship must demonstrate automotive-related career goals, automotive work experience and financial need for consideration. Future minority NASCAR drivers, crew members and technicians awarded this year include:
Darryl Boyles, Columbia, S.C.
Rebuilding and troubleshooting engines comes naturally to Boyles and he is eager to begin working under the hood of a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup vehicle -- if landing behind the wheel doesn't happen first. Watching races on television with his family got him hooked on motorsports and the family is looking forward to seeing him trade paint with some of their favorite drivers. Until then, Boyles plans to enhance his automotive abilities by mastering the electronics coursework at NTI.
Osvaldo Flores, Morganton, N.C.
When Flores was a boy, he had no idea that playing with remote-control cars could one day lead to a career in the automotive industry. He particularly enjoys exploring the capabilities of computer-driven technologies and anticipates working on a project car in the near future. After learning all the automotive fundamentals, Flores hopes to gain more experience by entering a BMW manufacturing program.
Jason Gunter, Clayton, N.C.
Gunter's talent for automotive diagnostics helped him nearly complete a 1983 Dodge Ram 1500 project car. He considers himself a body repair master after removing the vehicle's dents and scratches, and originally learned how to tinker with cars from his father. Post graduation, Gunter's long-term goals include opening up his own repair shop and becoming the next "Mr. Goodwrench."
Chance Hunt, Greensboro, N.C.
All paths Hunt chose eventually led back to an automotive career and he decided to enter NTI to perfect his mechanical skills. Hunt already has become a leader among his peers by sharing his 10 years of work experience with others. His No. 1 recommendation is to always think from a professional's perspective and act accordingly.
Christopher O'Neal, Columbia, S.C.
O'Neal is passionate about getting an engine to run smoothly and learned the basics by working with his grandfather on automotive, lawnmower and tractor engines. These days, he uses computer-based scan tools to verify optimum engine performance and diagnose any problems. O'Neal routinely monitors industry publications to stay ahead of technological advancements and is thinking about a 1985 Camaro project car.
Access to industry-specific knowledge and training through the scholarship program has propelled students into the automotive work force and toward their career goals. In fact, two former recipients -- Lael McMurry, a woman from Tularosa, N.M., and Reginald "Bradley" Douthit, a North Carolina native from Winston-Salem, currently hold positions in the N.C. motorsports community.
"We are encouraged by the hard work put forth by our recipients and will continue to foster diversity initiatives within the competitive world of motorsports," said Stu LaRoche, UPS motorsports business development manager and NASCAR Diversity Council member. "Diversity is a key component to building successful teams at UPS, especially during our current peak holiday season, and the UPS Racing Technical Edge Scholarship program has become a vehicle for us to extend our award-winning practices into NASCAR."
UPS has been the official express delivery company of NASCAR since 2000 and closes its fourth racing season as primary sponsor of the No. 88 UPS Ford Taurus driven by Dale Jarrett for Robert Yates Racing. Building on the sport's growing popularity and fan loyalty, UPS has been recognized for a strong marketing platform that links its services to the speed, precision and reliability of NASCAR racing. UPS continues to build new business opportunities directly within the racing community, related automotive and supplier industries and with new revenues through licensed product merchandising.