DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 18, 2018) – 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 fulltime 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:
2018 NASCAR Diversity Interns
|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|
— NASCAR —