Milton Hershey School Partners with World of Outlaws to Expand Hands-On Opportunities
This weekend, four Milton Hershey School students got an out-of-this-world experience working in the pits alongside World of Outlaws and local drivers and their crews at Williams Grove Speedway. These students got to step into the shoes of a dirt track racer and their team during one of the most prestigious dirt track races of the year—the National Open—as the World of Outlaws took on the Pennsylvania Posse.
Each of the students were invited to be a part of four race teams. They were mentored during the race and gained professional insight into the sport of dirt track racing. The four students—Tia Willis-Cooper, Rayshawn Shuler, Gage Thomas, and Dante Thomas—are interested in the field of automotive technology and hope to use the skills they learned during this unique and fun experience in their future careers.
“My experience at the race was the best opportunity I have ever had,” shared Tia Willis-Cooper, MHS Senior. “What I enjoyed the most was being able to actually work with the pit crew and get a little dirty. Also, I liked seeing the teamwork and how well they worked together. The crew made me feel like I was a part of the team. Racing is so fast paced and I think that is what makes me love it… the adrenaline when the cars go by and the loud roaring and rumbling.”
As a part of the pit crews, the four MHS students put fuel in the cars, balanced, grooved, and siped tires, and cleaned the cars as they came off the track. They also spoke with crew members about how to assess current track conditions to properly set the cars up for each race.
Recently, MHS has partnered with World of Outlaws to offer educational and hands-on opportunities to students interested in automotive-centered careers. This partnership only expands on the school’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) curriculum, which focuses on 12 career pathways for students to choose from, including Automotive Technology.
Tia added: “Being able to work with real World of Outlaws pit crews was a special and unique experience. I learned the difference between the cars we use every day and a race car, while getting to see how drivers and members of a pit crew think. One day, I hope to become an auto mechanic. This opportunity—like many others I’ve had while an MHS student—has given me the ability to learn from people who are working in the field.”