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NPS Staff Officer Recognized With NASCAR Diversity Award

By MC2 Victoria Ochoa

NPS Student Services Officer Lt. Jesse Iwuji received a NASCAR Diversity Award during a special event at this year's Daytona 500, Feb. 23. The award is given to a minority or female NASCAR developmental driver that exemplifies outstanding performance on and off the track, as well as encouraging awareness and interaction with NASCAR and motorsports.

"I've been selected to receive the NASCAR Diverse Driver award," said Iwuji. "It's definitely an honor to get recognized for this."

Iwuji's participation in the sport keeps him pretty busy on weekends during the racing season, balancing his aspirations in NASCAR with his responsibilities at the university.

"Being able to have my name among those people is a pretty big honor, and it shows that NASCAR really thinks highly of me," he said.

Part of the award criteria is focused on community service, and Iwuji is no stranger to giving back.

"Phoenix Patriot Foundation is a non-profit foundation based out of Southern California, and their main mission is to aid wounded veterans, help them out, give them family services and do a lot of things for them to help them get on their feet and honor their sacrifices," said Iwuji. "208 Cares is based out of Eagle, Idaho and their main mission is to do a house give-away to a wounded veteran each year … I'm happy to help these great causes with my NASCAR visibility."

One of Iwuji's favorite moments in NASCAR occurred in December 2016 when he finished in the top 10 in points in the K&M Pro developmental NASCAR series.

"Me going from absolutely nothing to finishing Top 10 in points in NASCAR is huge, and that moment having my family and my team there was really big for me," said Iwuji. "I'm looking forward to continuing to progress in NASCAR and doing bigger and better things."


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