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Jefferson Middle School AVID Hosts NASCAR’s Dylan Lupton

Darlene Pope

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AVID students at Jefferson Middle School in San Gabriel had the pleasure of hosting NASCAR driver Dylan Lupton, when he and his racecar roared onto campus on Thursday, March 20th. The twenty-year-old student at the University of North Carolina is different from every other college student, because he is also a professional NASCAR driver.  Originally from the Sacramento area, Lupton has been racing since he was thirteen. He is unique to the NASCAR world because he is also a former AVID student and most of the three hundred Jefferson students who attended the NASCAR rookie of the year’s presentation were also AVID students. Principal Matt Arnold introduced Lupton. San Gabriel Superintendent, Dr. David Yoshihara, was also in attendance.
AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is designed to teach students the skills they need in order to succeed in school, college, and life.  Indeed, Lupton’s main message was that the skills he learned in AVID helped him succeed on both the racetrack and in college.  Lupton drove home the importance of organization, time management, and teamwork.  He highlighted the key role of AVID in his development of these concepts. He also stressed the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and shared how research in these areas has improved safety in NASCAR. Students listened eagerly as he described how teamwork allowed him to make minute changes on his car that yielded positive results on the track.   Students also asked Lupton questions. One student’s question summed up the importance of the visit.  “Do you have to go to college to be a racecar driver?”  Dylan’s response was on point.  “No you do not have to go to college to be a racecar driver.  In fact, very few drivers have completed college.  But I chose to go to college because you need a backup plan.  I love racing, but having a college degree will set me apart from others and provide me with more opportunities.” Lupton also shared that college had been a goal of his since his youth, and he underscored the importance of AVID in helping him realize both of his dreams.
Lupton’s visit was a great opportunity for Jefferson students to witness how determination can make a dream possible. The support of the people of NASCAR and AVID Center, as well as the racing team of Sunrise Ford, made this event possible.

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News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.
Jefferson Middle School AVID Hosts NASCAR’s Dylan Lupton