Michelle grew up at the track by her father's side, almost always the only girl there. John Della Penna was a renowned Indycar driver and team owner who had immigrated to the US from Argentina at 20 years old, with a dream to race cars. He understood the incredible sacrifices and deep financial pockets that racing demands. After a successful career as an entrepreneur, Michelle decided it was time to change the industry. In 2021, she founded The Della Penna Foundation whose mission is to empower girls with the knowledge, skills and mentorship to supercharge a future in motorsports – whether it’s behind the wheel, in the pits, in the front office or in the research labs. Why 5-16 year olds and why now?
“If you don’t see it, you can’t be it” and there are very few women in prominent positions..
The barriers to access are high - for girls in general and for those without the financial wherewithal to find a track, buy equipment, get coached and find sponsors to cover the costs of racing.
Statistics show that 9-16 years old is when girls drop out of STEM classes and close the door to a future in technology.
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what's happening next:
The George4 Foundation is excited to partner with the Della Penna Foundation to provide mentorship to young women on their path to
a life in racing. This is the first annual fellowship offered to a high school girl living in the Indianapolis area and interested in shadowing the women at the George4 Foundation/Steinbrenner Racing and Bryan Herta. She’ll be exposed to all kinds of careers in motorsports during the week.
The Della Penna Fellowship starts Monday June 12th for one week and the Fellow will be expected to be present from 9am - 4pm, é Monday through Friday. Ideally she’ll provide her own transportation but this is not a requirement.
A Contributor level donation of $50 will receive a drawstring bag.
A Supporter level donation of $100 will get mentioned on the website, the programs, and brochures for the events and a baseball cap.
A Donor level contribution of $250 will get mentioned on the website, the programs, brochures
for the events will receive a knit hat and baseball cap.
A Benefactor level donation of $500 gets all of that plus VIP guest opportunities to attend select events.
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For donations over $500 please contact
Next Gen Foundation is a 501(c) (3) organization. Our Federal Tax ID is 87-0897405.
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