Madolyn Burke

Through Genius Garage I learned so much about the world of vintage racing, basic knowledge of cars, and had many great experiences. But as important and amazing as that is, I grew to learn the importance of stepping out of my comfort zone, learning life skills that will help me in my future career field, and had the pleasure to see that impact on the other students’ lives as well. Before joining this program, I was one who would try to fade into the background, someone who thought my thoughts were invalid and was content with staying in my comfort bubble. Moving through the months of Genius Garage I was put in situations where I was pushed to do better, situations where I was given the chance to have my input mean something on the team. I was given the opportunity to learn how to talk to important people, talk in public without being embarrassed, and showed me that people depend on me and my responsibilities on a team.

I work with individuals with autism and I’m going to school for special education. In this field, it is important to be confident in your work and be able to express your opinion in certain situations as well as working collaboratively with other people. Through Genius Garage I have done all of these things. I had the opportunity to be interviewed by a commentator at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Vintage Races. This helped me move way out of my comfort zone, but become more confident in talking to people in a professional setting. I was able to become close with my team members and grow bonds with them through the experiences and being a good working team, this has helped me in my current job being able to collaborate with others and be successful in that regard.

Genius Garage has given me, as a student, so much more as a person in my life than I ever would have expected. In 2017 I was a student and grew as a person and learned a lot. This year as a returning student, I am an organizational leader, working with the new students on scheduling, planning field trips and events, and working with the different aspects within team relationships. This position is something that will help me be successful in my future career and in this program I do not feel that there is a hard ceiling that is limiting me to what I can learn and do. With the support of many individuals on the team and mentors of this program, every student is pushed to be the best that they can be. I have seen every single student from the 2016 team learn from Genius Garage and grow personally as well as professionally. Over the past year Genius Garage has grown so much within itself, adding two new programs and being successful in doing so.

Joining Genius Garage has been one of the most impactful and fulfilling decisions I have ever made and I am proud to be a part of it. I am very excited to see this 2018 year take off and watch as students explore their boundaries and knowledge. If you are a student interested in this program, believe me, it’s worth it.