Alina Cioletti, a senior exercise science major from Strongsville, Ohio, who has a passion for racing karts, was recently awarded the Michael Fox Remembrance Foundation BMW driving school scholarship for 2013.
One entry for this award is selected every year as a means of helping an aspiring race driver achieve the next level. The Michael Fox Remembrance Foundation was founded in memory of Michael Fox, who was killed at the age of 22 on June 25, 2006, in a tragic automobile accident.
The purpose of the foundation, as stated on their website, is to allow young people the opportunity to “learn valuable educational skills and build traits such as discipline, self-esteem, good work ethics and sportsmanship through racing. They will have the opportunity to meet with people who have the same interests, positive values and character, allowing them to make lifelong friends. These qualities and friendships will enrich every aspect of their lives as they grow into accomplished, self-confident young men and women.”
“I got into open-wheel racing at the age of 8 but didn’t actually start racing until I was 15. I always saw males race, but never saw any female’s race until Danica Patrick entered Indy car,” Cioletti says. “When I saw her race, I knew women could get into the sport and I wanted to try it. I have played almost every sport and racing is the most physically, emotionally and mentally challenging sport I have participated in.”
Cioletti races sprint and enduro karts, and has raced on tracks like Mid-Ohio and Daytona International Speedway. At Mid-Ohio in 2011, during her first full season of enduro karts, she placed third in the fall national race. In 2012, she raced at Daytona International Speedway and placed in the top 10 in both races on Saturday and Sunday.
In her time away from her academics and racing, Cioletti works at the rec center as a rec sports manager, referees for youth soccer in the surrounding communities, and is a personal trainer at the North Royalton YMCA. In her free time she enjoys playing sports, being active, and getting an adrenaline rush.
“Receiving this award is such an honor. I never thought I would have the opportunity to go to this kind of driving school. I will not only be representing the Michael Fox Remembrance Foundation, but the karting community as well. This scholarship will help me become a more versatile driver and it will be an experience that I will never forget,” Cioletti states.
After graduation, Cioletti plans on continuing with her academics and obtaining her masters degree, and she hopes to become an assistant strength and conditioning coach or a graduate assistant in rec services. “I plan on continuing to race whenever I can. I love the sport and would love to stay involved in it as much as possible,” Cioletti states.
Cioletti will be traveling to the Greenville–Spartanburg area in South Carolina to attend the BMW Performance Racing School in the spring, and will be racing M5 BMW’s.
Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2013, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###