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On the Fast Track to Success

Levon Bates Jr.

Bates speaks to the kids about what it’s like to drive professionally.

On Tuesday, Forever-Fit got a special visit from Levon Bates Jr., a new Indy Pro racer. Bates got his start in go-kart racing when he was 12, reaching up to speeds of 130 mph on the track, even at such a young age. One day, Jimmy Kite, an Indy 500 racer at the time, and his buddies came to the same go-kart track at which Bates practiced, and he challenged everyone there to a race. Bates won, Kite noticed, and it was all uphill from there.

As we listened to Bates’ stories of growing up racing go-karts, transitioning to cars, and generally taking the fast track to fame, we also learned of the difficulties that Bates had to overcome to get to where he is today. Bates grew up fairly disadvantaged—his parents left him to his grandmother when he was very young, and they had to scrape to get by. When Bates was a teenager, he had a small business of his own, washing cars to make a little money for himself. But he nearly lost everything when someone tried to rob him one day, shooting him five times in the process. It certainly hasn’t been an easy journey for Bates, but it’s amazing to see how far he’s come.

Haleigh's Thank You

The camper’s wrote thank you cards during the presentation to remind Bates of their appreciation.

If he can keep up the good work, he can have a future racing in the Indy 500 in just three years—becoming the first African American man to do so. Despite all of his hardships, Bates is on his way to achieving a goal that he’s had for so long and is stopping at nothing to get it. For our campers, Bates is quite the inspiration: If he can accomplish all that he has despite all of the obstacles, then achieving a healthier lifestyle is well within reach for our campers.

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