District News

11/21/2019 - Ariana Jencik Races for a Cause

My name is Ariana Jencik I am a fifteen year old race car driver for the Exit Reality Pro Truck Challenge and a Sophomore at Canton High School.  I have been racing for seven years in many different divisions. This year in 2019 I had the opportunity to win a $10,000 sponsorship for my racing career. The contest was based on the amount of votes you could receive; there were forty-nine people competing. 

Many people were using this money on their cars or personal expenses if they won. However, I wanted to pay it forward to others in the community because so many people have helped me. My family and I decided that I was going to donate all of the money that I won to Camp Rising Sun in Colebrook, Connecticut. It is a local camp for kids who have had or currently have cancer. These kids battle cancer everyday and the camp makes sure the kids have fun with the brightest smile on their faces. I decided to choose this charity because I like helping other people. If I was the one with cancer I would want the opportunity to have fun at a summer camp. I would want people to donate money so there could be more camps for other kids to have the same opportunity to take a break from the stress of their lives and to just have fun. In order to do this I needed help to get the votes. 

 I decided that the best place to go about this was at school. I went to school and I spread the word by getting in the school news and putting an announcement on the school’s tvs about the contest. Not only did this opportunity benefit the community, but it also pushed me as a person in several areas. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and I had to talk to people I was not necessarily comfortable talking with. I spread awareness by putting it on teachers boards and talking to many students and staff, I never pictured I would.

 However, because there were complaints from other contestants the rules were changed and the top ten winners had to choose an envelope with a random amount of money. I was disappointed with this change. I felt it was unfair because you shouldn't change the rules in the middle of the contest just because people were complaining. The envelope I chose had $800. While I was grateful for the money that I could still donate, I was disappointed that the rules had been changed. In the future I would like to recommend to the contestant officials that they should keep to their word with their rules, ask the drivers what their going to use the money for and make it one vote per person for their driver.

 In conclusion, I feel grateful for the opportunity to raise money for kids who have cancer. This experience has taught me communication skills, how to work with others, how to handle the negativity and how to make a positive change. Being a female driver gets me underestimated a lot. It paints this picture that doesn't describe who I am as a person or driver. There's a misconception that female drivers do not work on their cars, and do not drive “as good” as male drivers. And being very young, people underestimate my abilities as a driver and person but I still managed to pull ahead and raise $800 for the kids happiness! Thank you to all the people in my life who have been their unconditionally for your support.