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Alex Seither Will Receive Soap Box Derby's President's Youth Volunteer Service Award

Alex Seither PhotoAlex Seither

Alex Seither of Mason, Ohio, has been chosen as the recipient of the 2017 President’s Youth Volunteer Service Award, which recognizes volunteers under the age of 21 who have made a positive impact on the Soap Box Derby through their leadership on the local or national level.

Seither was the driving force behind the creation of the new Collegiate Engineering Design Challenge Competition (CEDC), which is part of the Derby’s growing Gravity Racing Challenge STEM Team Competition presented by The University of Akron College of Engineering. This year, three cars from The University of Akron College of Engineering competed in the inaugural competition. Seither originally proposed the idea two years ago as a college freshman. Being an engineering student at The University of Dayton and having been a Derby champ, Alex could see the value of applying Derby building and design skills to a college level engineering curriculum and learning experience. 

“Alex embodies the criteria and principles of the award,” said Bobby Dinkins, vice president of the Soap Box Derby. “He has helped create a program that expands the positive learning aspects of Derby racing to a community of participants that will benefit directly from the knowledge gained. Engineers who participate in the CEDC will graduate and go on to careers applying the knowledge learned via CEDC to solve our world’s most pressing engineering challenges. In that way, we will all benefit from the program that Alex created.”

In addition to his work on the CEDC, Seither is actively involved as a Dayton Area Soap Box Derby Board member as he and fellow members pursue bringing a Soap Box Derby race back to its birthplace in Dayton, Ohio. He is a full-time university engineering student, vice president of the acapella singing group at the University of Dayton and works at the King’s Island amusement park to earn money for college expenses.

Seither’s Derby career started in 2007 as a participant in the local Cincinnati Soap Box Derby race. He was a five-time participant in the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby world championship race and was the 2009 world champion in the Rally Super Stock Division.   

Nominations for the youth award come from local, regional and national Soap Box Derby officials.

The award will be presented as part of the 80th FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby race day awards program at the Akron Civic Theatre on Saturday, July 22, at 7 p.m.             

Past recipients of the award:

Veronica Harris, Campbell, Calif.
Laura Hubbell, Pataskala, Ohio

Jordan Pruden, Bowling Green, Ky.
Aaron Rohrbaugh, Culpeper, Va.
Takateru “Teru” Yamamoto, Japan