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AKRON, Ohio (July 8, 2024) – The International Soap Box Derby (ISBD) announces this year’s President’s Youth Volunteer Service Award recipients. The awards recognize volunteers under the age of 21 who have made a positive impact on the ISBD through their leadership at the local, regional and national levels.

“All three award recipients are long-time Soap Box Derby competitors who are giving back to the racing program,” said Scott Taylor, president and chief executive officer of International Soap Box Derby, Inc. “These impressive young adults have helped promote the soap box derby programs, stage local races and mentor younger participants who are new to racing. They are each deserving of this prestigious award in their own way.”

The President’s Youth Volunteer Service Awards will be presented during festivities at the 86th FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby World Championships in Akron on Saturday, July 20.

The 2024 honorees are:
JACOB LEONARD, Owensboro, Kentucky. Jacob, 20, competed in the Owensboro Soap Box Derby for nine years beginning in 2012 and earned a berth at the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby eight times as a local or rally champion. His best finish was third in the local Masters championship in 2017.  While racing, he volunteered to help organize and promote races in multiple communities and advised racers and their families. Since he is no longer racing, he supports the Owensboro race by managing the heat charts and timers. He is a board member of the local Soap Box Derby organization. Leonard is studying education at Western Kentucky University, where he will be a junior in the fall. He also is a substitute teacher at schools in Owensboro and Bowling Green, Kentucky.

JILLIAN MOORE, Shalersville, Ohio. Jillian, 20, began racing in the Portage County Soap Box Derby in 2014 and won the local Stock division in 2016. She also has raced in the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby as local Super Stock champion in 2022 and as a Rally participant five times.  She will compete in the Rally Masters division on July 20 in her final year of eligibility. She has always been a mentor to new racers and helps promote the program at fairs and other events.  She previously was a member of her race program’s junior board and now is a member of the Portage County Soap Box Derby board of directors. She helps plan and organize local races and rallies and is a long-time co-pilot in the SuperKids racing program. She also works with youngsters at the STEM summer camps at Derby Downs. Jillian is a senior at Hiram (Ohio) College and is studying to become a veterinarian.

DAKOTA THOMAS, Hurricane, West Virginia. Dakota, 20, has competed in Soap Box Derby races in West Virginia for 13 years. She has won all three local divisions—Stock, Super Stock and Masters–in the Kanawha Valley Soap Box Derby and represented the race multiple times as a Rally champ.  She will race in the Masters Really competition at the 86th FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby later this month. When the Kanawha Valley Soap Box Derby dissolved in April 2023, Dakota immediately went to work to continue the Soap Box Derby tradition in West Virginia. With the support of South Charleston city officials and the business community, she established the South Charleston Soap Box Derby organization in 2023 and began staging local and rally races. Dakota serves as race director. Dakota is a junior at Salem (West Virginia) University, where she is studying business administration.


About the Soap Box Derby
The International Soap Box Derby® is a non-profit youth education and leadership development organization whose mission is to build knowledge and character, and to create meaningful experiences through fair and honest racing competitions, STEM curriculums, and other community-focused activities. The Derby’s Core Values and Drivers include Youth Education and Leadership Development; Family Engagement and Enrichment; Honesty, Integrity, and Perseverance; Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Teamwork and Collaboration; Mentoring; Volunteerism; and Commitment to Community. The Derby’s two youth initiatives are the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby racing program and the STEM-based Education Program, which provides educational opportunities for K-12 youth worldwide through Soap Box Derby racing. The Derby dates back to 1934, when the first All-American race was held in Dayton, Ohio. For more information, visit


Bob Troyer, Public Relations Chair
FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby
(312) 543-6703 Cell


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