FIERCE LIKE A GATOR

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Allie, otherwise known as “Gator”. You can figure out how her nickname was derived, but unlike the reptile, Gator is known to be fierce (dirt bike racer) and kind at the same time. The kind portion is what drew my attention. Maybe you’ve heard of her in dirt bike circles? Proudly wearing race number 31 – her grandfather’s racing number – Gator spends most of her free time training on her trials bike around her homemade dirt track. You’ll find a bunch of other kids riding there as well because her dad (Will Stambaugh) encourages others to come practice their skills together. When she isn’t riding at home, she travels to places like New Mexico, California, Utah and many spots throughout Colorado to officially compete in four dirt bike series races.

Last year, Gator won 3 rd place overall riding her SX65 bike in the WeBe Off-Road Series. This year, she added a larger SX85 bike and now competes in both the 9-11-year-old class on her SX65 and in the 12-16-year-old class on her SX85. This means she races twice at every event! Perhaps Gator’s greatest achievement so far was her qualifying time at a Loretta Lynn’s AMA Amateur National Motocross qualifying event. This moves her forward to the next level: a regional qualifying event scheduled in California on June 2nd . Only 30 riders make it that far, and from those 30, only four continue on to Nationals.

Gator just recently turned 12; in fact, I met her on her 12th birthday which is when I saw her in action. I witnessed a very talented, skilled and brave girl maneuvering some challenging obstacles, but more importantly, I observed how Gator treated others on the track. She was positive: “You can do this.” She was encouraging: “You’ve got this, don’t give up.” She was empathetic: “I know you want to put your feet on the ground, but you have to pick them up.” She was Respectful: “Hi! Thanks for coming out here today. It was nice to meet you and thank you for sponsoring me!” And she was kind: Gator got off her bike several times to help others stuck on the obstacles. One of the little racers, Bella wrote in a recent homework assignment that she wants to be just like Gator when she grows up. So, it was no wonder when a PEER Kindness, Inc. board member noticed that she lived by our PK values (Positive, Encouraging, Empathetic, Respectful, and KIND) and decided to officially sponsor Gator’s 2018 race series through our “Align with Kind” youth program. PEER Kindness is proud to support such an upstanding young lady! Go get em #31, GO Gator!

PEER Kindness, Inc. is a local non-profit that works in partnership with schools, business and community leaders, families and youth to reduce bullying and to foster a PEER stance. We provide bully prevention and education skills, outreach support and advocacy work. We also have an Align with Kind program that puts our youth in the driver’s seat of social change. We are developing a pre-PK program for our littles. Please find out how you can get involved at peerkindness.net.