From Wheelchairs To Marching Band, To NASCAR

by Elena Tayem, communications coordinator at the George Snow Scholarship Fund (GSSF). This nationally recognized Palm Beach County public charity is dedicated to providing scholarships and support services to young men and women with financial need so they can build a better life through the pursuit of higher education. 

Since its inception, the Fund has giving out over $8.2 million in educational grants and aims to award at least one grant to each public high school in Palm Beach. They are a part of a village of private donors, corporations and organizations who believe in education, and put their money where their mouth is.

GSSF will be sharing the special stories here on Faces of Education, of students who strive against the odds to realize their dreams and desires for a better life. Welcome GSSF to the Faces family!

Jordan Naibert’s Story

Six years ago Jordan Naibert interviewed for a scholarship from the George Snow Scholarship Fund (GSSF). One conversation in particular will always stand out her in mind. “I remember talking to Tim Snow, president of GSSF, about NASCAR before my interview,” said Jordan. “I found out that he was a fan and I thought it was really cool to have something in common with him.”

Getting to NASCAR

Jordan ended up receiving three scholarships from GSSF. She graduated from Boca High School and went on to attend Florida State University, where she earned her degree in Marketing and Management. After graduation, she immediately moved to North Carolina. “I always knew I was going to live in North Carolina. My goal was to work in NASCAR,” said Jordan.  “After graduation, I just moved up here with the goal of getting a job in the sport, or at least living up here and getting a job up here somehow.”

Jordan worked for a year and then decided to go back to school at Belmont Abbey College where she got a degree in Motorsport Management in May. “It was the best program ever,” said Jordan. “I did internships and projects that totally prepared me for a real job.” Her first internship involved working with a race team, and her second internship was with 140 Buzz, an agency that does does PR for a couple different NASCAR teams.

After interning with 140 Buzz Jordan was offered a fulltime position in July 2016. She now writes press releases, helps teams prepare for appearances or interviews, and manages the teams’ social media accounts. Tommy Baldwin Racing is one of the teams 140 Buzz manages with Regan Smith as their driver.

Facing Disability

It wasn’t easy for Jordan to get here. She had to overcome many different obstacles. “When I eight year old, I was told I wasn’t going to be able to walk anymore.”

She suffers from flat feet, but not your typical flat feet. Jordan said one foot was “messing up everything” so badly that doctors couldn’t really figure out what was going on. “I went through all these foot surgeries. For two full summers, I couldn’t walk. I had to stay indoors. The surgeon I had fix how I walked and added bone to reform my foot,” said Jordan.

“That was my biggest hardship but I have done so well since then.” After going through major foot surgery during her freshman and sophomore year of high school, Jordan followed her dream of joining the marching band.

“I became a lot more confident because I could walk and do things that I wasn’t able to do when I was younger.”

“I’ve had rough patches since then, but it was definitely a big change to go from debilitating flat foot pain to being able to walk again. When I got to college, I felt pretty confident that I could march,” said Jordan. “I played clarinet in Marching Chiefs, which was awesome!”

Cookies and Personal Notes

Jordan remembers the support she received from the George Snow Scholarship Fund. “I loved the care package that came at Christmas time – my roommates did too. It was the coolest thing ever! We’d get boxes of cookies and personal messages. That was my favorite. I guess it was technically for finals but it felt like a holiday care package. It was the best.”

Jordan Naibert said she came to North Carolina knowing exactly what she wanted. “I wanted to live here and I wanted a job [in NASCAR].” And that’s exactly what she did with some local help from her community back home in Florida and her will to overcome.

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