NXG Youth Motorsports, Inc. is a nonprofit organization 501 (c) (3) that “offers empirical learning programs to students from underrepresented communities ages 11-15 who use karting and motorsport as a tool for STEM concepts and applications, life skills development, and career options. ‘era ».
The program was taken under the wing of Penske Entertainment Corp. in 2020, and after a 15-year stay in Indianapolis the NXG expanded to Detroit.
Following a pilot program in 2021, NXG has expanded its reach and presence at Motown this year with the support of Blue Cross Blue Shield from Michigan. At Detroit Cass Technical High School, NXG Detroit held its first weekend for students in 2022, and two additional two-day classes are scheduled for this summer, including later this month.
In addition, students from the Detroit area who participated in the first two NXG events last year, and those attending the first two classes over the weekend in 2022, will be invited to the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, presented by Lear, June 4-5. , for the experience of the scenes and the opportunity to get an education.
“We appreciated the opportunity to bring NXG Youth Motorsports to Detroit in 2021 with Blue Cross support,” said NXG co-founder and chief instructor Rod Reid. “We are proud to offer students in underrepresented communities the opportunity to learn about motorsport and combine STEM lessons learned in the classroom with a real-world application in their careers and lives.
“In April, we continued the development of some of the Detroit students we contacted last year, and we look forward to welcoming 20 new NXG Detroit students May 21-22 for our next MA 100 class.”
Ken Hayward is vice president and special assistant to the president for public relations at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company with about 4.7 million members. He believes that the arrival of NXG in Detroit was “very successful”.
He remarked, “The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is a proud supporter of the NXG 2022 program, and we look forward to this year’s cohorts thriving and succeeding in their program courses.
“This initiative is a testament to Detroit’s namesake as Motor City. We also appreciate this opportunity because it helps Michigan children be healthy and active, both on the track and in the classroom. ”
NXG students will meet with the Force Indy team, owned and operated by African Americans, at Indy Lights, with technicians from Firestone and engineers from General Motors, and several selected students will present trophies for Indy Lights and Masters Endurance Legends races.
“NXG Detroit gives students an incredible opportunity to learn science, math, and technology and apply them directly to racing,” said Bud Denker, chairman of the Chevrolet Detroit GP, presented by Lear. “The experience also goes far beyond the classroom and even the race track. These young men and women receive valuable life lessons and also face many different elements and career opportunities in motorsport.
“We are pleased to supplement their journey with some significant opportunities to participate in this year’s Grand Prix and continue their growth and development.”
Reid explained that he is using this latest Grand Prix on Belle Island (Detroit’s GP is moving downtown next year) as a recruitment tool for the program.
He said: “If there are girls and boys, especially in this middle school age, who may be interested in doing something like NXG and accessing those opportunities that may be available at IndyCar, we will welcome them with open arms. . inquiries, via our email firstname.lastname@example.org .
“But I also think it’s important to celebrate, just to be able to come back and celebrate, to thank Blue Cross Blue Shield and Penske Entertainment for allowing us to be in Detroit.”
Asked by Motorsport.com how to maintain the NXG expansion, Reid said: “We were really happy sponsors back in 2006 when Lucas Oil came on board, and now to have a relationship with Blue Cross Blue Shield from Michigan, and others, whether they are car sponsors or individual sponsors. I think that when people understand what we’re doing and see success, it’s not that hard to sell.
“However, in terms of expansion, our goal when we started in 2006 was to have our operations in cities where IndyCar is located, where there are fairly large black and brown communities. There are other places, be it St. Louis, Nashville, Portland or other cities where we would like to think about going in the future, but now our goal is to expand in Detroit with the same number of classes that we have in Indianapolis. That would be somewhere around 10-15 classes per season. It would be a great success for us and I think we are on the right track with the relationship we have with Blue Cross Blue Shield ”.
Reid explained that local sponsorships and partnerships are needed in any potential new location.
“Yes, I think it benefits not only us but also these communities,” he said. “Detroit has been just amazing at hosting the organization we have, and that’s thanks in large part to the Detroit Grand Prix and other events in and around the automotive industry. So it seems natural.
“But absolutely – local participation is key. We also, of course, need larger organizations that feel comfortable with our mission, but yes, the local presence is huge for us. ”