There are a lot of students out there that have the motivation and potential to achieve amazing things. The issue that a lot of them face is that it’s not always easy for them to find opportunities to capitalize on this potential and back it up with experience applying it. The Genius Garage program is specifically designed to find these students, and give them that opportunity they need to accrue crucial professional and life skills, and show the world what they can do by applying them to a truly epic project: rebuilding and modifying seriously awesome vintage racecars, and then crewing them at races at notorious courses including Mid-Ohio and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
I was a member of the 2015 Genius Garage Racing Team, and it was one of the most transformative experiences of my life. The year I participated in the program, we (the Genius Garage Team) rebuilt a 1988 Corvette GT1 racecar that we ended up campaigning to multiple successful finishes. When I initially heard of the program I could hardly believe there was someone who was willing to let a group of students, many with little to no experience wrenching on cars, completely rebuild a vintage racecar. It almost sounded too good to be true, but as someone who loves automobiles and racing, the opportunity to be an integral part of a real racing team was too much for me to pass up.
Participating in the Genius Garage program turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Under Casey’s mentorship, everyone on the team was able to quickly learn and acquire all of the technical skills necessary to rebuild the Corvette. It was so exciting to learn so much so quickly, and the experiences I had during the rebuilding process instilled me with a good bit of self-confidence. I went from enviously fantasizing about being like those guys you see undertaking cooling car projects on YouTube to actually living out those dreams, all with a great set of equally passionate teammates beside me.
But there’s so much more to the experience than just learning to wrench on race cars. The program is really about exposing young, bright-eyed students to the interpersonal and professional skills they need to achieve their dreams. Our project and time management, problem solving, and professional communication skills were all developed and tested along the way. Whether we were planning our rebuild schedule, fixing an engine issue, or representing the team at races and other events, putting these skills into practice was integral to everything we did.
The program teaches people all of this while also delivering a heavy dose of fun, excitement, adventure, and pure inspiration. The friendships I made with other members of the Genius Garage program were incredibly valuable. Spending hours in the garage, at the track, and wherever else the Genius Garage adventure takes you with people who all share a common passion and motivation has a way of forming fantastic friendships.
The directors of the program also make every effort to expose the students to as many special experiences as possible. First off, we actually crewed and raced the car at multiple vintage racing events, each of which was a very special experience. To be able to see a car you and your friends have invested months of work into dominate vintage races at famous tracks like Indianapolis Motor Speedway is an unbelievably rewarding experience. I frequently revisit my memories of the great experiences we had during these race weekends.
The people we met, the places we went, and the ideas we were exposed to were one of the most valuable parts of the program. We toured an Air Force museum, the Corvette factory and National Corvette Motorsports Park, the headquarters of a professional racing team, to name a few. During my time in the program, we were fortunate enough to meet and interact with amazing people ranging from Air Force pilots to engineers.
Casey, the founder and president of Genius Garage, is a brilliant mentor with an unparalleled passion and enthusiasm for what he does. He’s made it his mission to give students like me the chance we deserve to set ourselves apart from the crowd and do something great. The experiences that he has worked to create do an exceptional job of empowering students to achieve whatever it is they want in life.
In summary, in addition to being just one heck of a good time, the Genius Garage program has given me and many other students the opportunity to learn and apply critical problem solving, team building, and project management skills. In fact, I interned at a major automotive company this past summer, and I credit the experiences I had with Genius Garage with being a major contributing factor to that success.
If you are reading this, I assume you are either interested in participating in Genius Garage, or are thinking about supporting it in some way. If you are interested in participating, I urge you to do so! There is no other experience like this. You’ll learn a ton, and have a fantastic time. If you are interested in supporting the program, please do! This is one of the best possible ways I can think of to invest in the future of young adults who have the potential to be our leaders tomorrow.
The slogan of Genius Garage is that it is a “Bright mind development program”, and I really believe in the power it has to empower motivated students to achieve their dreams.