The vision of sports marketing expert Anthony Martin that led to the formation of The Urban Youth Racing School (UYRS) fourteen years ago continues to inspire and drive the school today. Martin is the Founder and Executive Director of Urban Youth Racing School (UYRS), a nationally acclaimed innovative educational program that introduces urban students to "STEM" - science, technology, engineering and math using a motorsports framework. Under his leadership, the school has introduced over thousands of inner city children to the world of motorsports, In addition to teaching young people the ins and outs of the racing industry, Martin helps his kids develop the necessary life skills, integrating valuable components such as, education, leadership skills and diversity training into the overall curriculum at UYRS.
Martin, also conceived, What it Takes a national outreach initiative that connects highly successful minority entrepreneurs, scientists, professional athletes, businessmen, military and medical professionals and educators with high potential but low performing minority males.
What it Takes emerged from the Martin's efforts to interest more inner city students in science, technology, engineering and math through the motorsports industry. Students were excited about racing go karts and learning math, but were frustrated they did not know "what it takes" to be successful young men who could graduate from high school and go to college.
For 14 years, he has demonstrated his commitment to children that are often overlooked and underdeveloped, while also helping kids dreams come true.
Now focused on the expansion of the Urban Youth Racing School & The What It Takes Foundation, Martin is earning national recognition as an ordinary dreamer, with an extraordinary heart. He has enthusiastically dedicated his entire life, personal, professional and economical, to helping children and giving them opportunities to succeed.
Michelle Kuilan serves as Director of Operations for the Urban Youth Racing School (UYRS), a nationally acclaimed innovative educational program that introduces urban students to “STEM” - science, technology, engineering and math using a motorsports framework. The headquarters of the UYRS is based in Philadelphia, PA with an additional program in Washington DC.
Kuilan joined UYRS in July 2002 as a marketing consultant to assist with the racing school’s marketing, curriculum and program development, and efforts to support NASCAR diversity efforts coordination.
Under Kuilan’s guidance, the UYRS has been honored by African Americans On Wheels as a Diversity Motorsports Program and has been featured in many media outlets. Kuilan oversees UYRS branding, marketing research, and emerging markets, and is responsible for building, coordinating and implementing programs that incorporate all UYRS assets. Her strategic initiatives meet programmatic goals by providing inner-city students and parents with access to mentors, higher education opportunities and educational support to help the students build strategic life plans. In the past five years 100% of students ages 8-18 who have participated in UYRS initiatives have demonstrated grade level improvement in academic achievement, 95% of seniors from Philadelphia public schools have graduated (compared to 49% in the district), and of those 95%, 100% have entered 2+ and 4+ year colleges.
Prior to joining the Urban Youth Racing School, Kuilan was the founder and principal of Star Shooters, Inc., a M/WBE multi-media company that provided advertising, video production, photography, website and presentation design to emerging businesses. Kuilan continues to consult organizations and youth related foundations to help them coordinate programs and related strategic branding efforts.