Dave Diehl, Sharonville Transmission Plant (STP) engineer, has had a love for racing since the day he was born.
"My dad took me to a race at the old Tri-County Speedway when I was 2-years-old and I've been hooked ever since," said Diehl. "Racing has always been a part of my life, but it wasn't until about 10 years ago that I began racing seriously."
It was then that he bought his 1995 Ford Cobra Mustang, fixed it up and hit the track. Today, he races in the American Iron Class with the National Auto Sport Association (NASA).
And although Diehl enjoys the act of racing and the adrenaline it provides, his main motivation behind is helping to make a difference.
"When I first started racing, I carried the Make-a-Wish logo on my Mustang. It was a good thing, but I didn't feel like I was actively involved," said Diehl of his non-profit participation.
"Then, one day at church, a Whiz Kids representative came in requesting volunteers to help tutor and/or mentor underprivileged youth in our community," he explained. "Although it sounded like a great opportunity, my schedule wouldn't allow for the time commitment. So I simply asked, 'what else can I do for you?'"
Shortly thereafter, Diehl began his efforts with Whiz Kids by painting the logo on his Mustang.
"My main goal is to raise awareness about Whiz Kids without asking for money in return. Although I currently can't make the time commitment of tutoring and/or mentoring, I still like to remind individuals of the opportunity," said Diehl. "I feel very strongly about supporting the growth of children, both academically and spiritually – this organization allows for just that."
Diehl not only raises awareness by racing the Whiz Kids car, but by bringing it to events around the community.
"I bring the car to church events and school fundraisers throughout the year. The kids get to sit inside and ask questions about how the car works – it's a great opportunity to remind them how important it is to stay in school," he said. "If I can get through to one child, I know I've made a difference."
Whiz Kids is a literacy-based, one-to-one tutoring and mentoring program. It reaches 1,200 at-risk youth from Over-the-Rhine and Madisonville to West Chester and Milford to Florence, Ky., and Middletown. For more information about this organization, log onto citygospelmission.org and search programs – transforming youth.