The student team winning the tire changing contest.
This student team of, from left, Ryan Nickol, Michelle
Anthony Peterson, left, and Ryan Nichol, right, with Jarrod Sessler, co-founder with his wife, Nikki, of the Hope4Youth non-profit foundation. The two students wrote Sessler the following letter :
"We are eighth graders, representing Seeley Lake Elementary. Our school is K-8, with 244 students. Seeley Lake is less than 2000 people.
Many kids in town have never seen a real NASCAR or driver. We are about an hour from the nearest interstate.
Our community really gets into racing sports. The main reason we want you to come to Seeley Lake is that many people in our town would love to see a NASCAR.
Also, our school could use some encouragement of following their dreams. So, please consider coming to our school. We will be very grateful to Jerrod and your whole crew."
John Devins, Mary Johnson, and Glen Morin lost the tire-changing contest to the students, but look as though they probably had more fun than anyone.
These younger kids at Seeley Lake Elementary got their first look at the NASCAR car and a smaller, kid-size replica.
July 13, 2000
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana
by Michelle Noland
Earlier last spring, two kids from Seeley Lake Elementary wrote a letter to Jerrod Sessler. The two kids; Ryan Nichol and Anthony Peterson asked Jerrod Sessler to come to Seeley Lake to show the kids a real NASCAR and also the driver, who is known for dedicating himself to inspiring young kids with hope to follow their dreams.
Jerrod Sessler and his crew did come to Seeley Lake for one of only four stops in Montana and gave a wonderful message to everyone. They showed the kids that everything in life is only a barrier. A barrier that can be broken down if you try hard enough to pursue what you want. He interacted with the students by asking for volunteers to come down and overcome the challenges that they would soon face in the future. They broke their barriers and showed everyone what was needed to accomplishing a task to the future.
Jerrod Sessler told a story of his life and the challenges he faced growing up. His story sent the message that he wanted us to hear. It made us see that everything in life that will try to bring you down, really can't. He told us that we can do it. Jerrod Sessler and his crew repeated their message all day. Their message was," YOU CAN DO IT ."
Then, after all the messages had been sent out and received, Jerrod and his crew had three kid volunteers and three adult volunteers compete in a contest. In this contest the three kids were to compete against the three adults. The contest was to see who could change the back tire of the NASCAR to the front, and the front to the back.
The contest went with everyone laughing and yelling " You can do it! " The kids ended up winning the contest by just a few seconds. The three young winners of this contest were Ryan Nichol, Michelle Noland and Anthony Peterson. Their competitors were Mary Johnson, John Devins and Glen Morin. For winning, Ryan, Michelle and Anthony got to sign the NASCAR and get a picture with Jerrod Sessler. It was a fun day, the crew hung around at the school for a while interacting with all the classes and had a good time. Jerrod and his crew are continuing to bring hope to our future. His message is " You Can Do It. "
Jarrod Sessler told of his struggles overcoming a broken family situation and other problems as a youth to eventually become a NASCAR driver even though he was told that would never be possible. He now struggles with a recent diagnosis of cancer but continues his mission of letting young people know that "You Can Do It."