Ten young women will soon be chosen to be the first team to represent Athena Racing, a unique nonprofit formed to provide scholarships and opportunities for young women to enter the automotive industry with confidence. Executive Director of Athena Racing Loxley Brown considered possible ways to get back to her passion, racing, but with a greater purpose. On April 17, Browne said the lightning bolt struck. Everything she had imagined fell into place and along came Athena Racing. Soon after, Browne had all of the business structure in place, and Athena Racing was granted as a certified 501(c)(3) organization just weeks after starting the process. A fantastic sign signaling that this concept was meant to become a reality. Starting Athena Racing is more than just starting a racing company, Browne said. It is about providing a support system for young women entering male-dominated industries, such as automotive racing. Browne said she wants to be the mentor that she wished she had when she was stepping into various male-dominated industries. “In my career, I have often been the only woman in the room,” Browne said. Browne said she will do anything in her power to make the dreams of the young women on her team come alive. “We are trying to make it easier for them to walk into a room full of men and feel as though they are supposed to be there, to be comfortable in their skin and confident in their abilities, to the point that sexes don’t matter,” Browne said. One of the goals of Athena Racing, Browne said, is preparing the team to enter into the racing industry. But the company is much more than that, Browne said. Athena Racing will also focus on exposing and educating the team in STEM fields and preparing them to be career-oriented individuals. The online application for potential Athena Racing team members opens on August 1. The process will work similarly to a college application, requiring an essay, a video, and a nonprofit organization for which the applicant would like to be a spokesperson and advocate. Browne said the chosen team will be selected based upon being well-rounded. Their demonstrated interest in motorsports/automotive, grades, and public presence will all be considered. The ten chosen team members will each receive a scholarship to the team valued at $50,000, which covers the costs of a race car, maintenance, race entry fees, travel, uniforms, and more. “I want them to walk to the car, get out there and race and have no one realize it’s a woman driving until she pulls her helmet off and she says, ‘I just did that.’ I can’t wait to see the shock factor on spectators faces. That’s my goal,” Browne said. The team will be training like Olympians year-round while going to school, Browne said. The team will study a few hours per day, have an hour phone call with Browne every week, have one training weekend per month and one race weekend per month. On top of everyday training, the team will have to stay healthy and active and work out daily. In addition to training, Browne said the women will be going on field trips one Friday per month to experience the behind-the-scenes aspects of manufacturing, R&D, and design in the transportation sector. The trips will expose the team to STEM industries, as these experiences will make the well-rounded team racers and better prepared to enter STEM industries later on. In the near future, Browne said she plans on growing Athena Racing beyond the team of ten racers and reach out to other parts of the San Diego community. Browne said Athena Racing will provide automotive maintenance lessons to military children in April 2020 for the Month of the Military Child. Browne said she plans on getting the team as involved with the San Diego community as possible through public speaking, especially as mentors for younger girls in the community. Further down the line, Browne said she hopes to expand Athena Racing across the country. In one word, Browne said Athena Racing is “determined.” This fall, there will be an elite team of 10 young ladies ready to immerse themselves into the motorsport aspect of STEM-related careers.
On The Track
“The car doesn’t know if you are a female or a male”
– Kenzie Ruston
Championing Young Ladies Who Are Demolishing the