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Friday was race day at the Northern Lights Raceway, as 13 aboriginal girls from Northeastern BC suited up, and hit the track.

‘Go Karts 4 Girls’ is a program that sees the 11-15 year-old girls take apart, modify, and rebuild go-karts, as a way to expose them to mechanics and non-traditional fields.

Program Coordinator Dacia Douhaibi says the girls have gotten help from instructors in their communities preparing the cars, and Friday was the time to strut their stuff. [asset|aid=1739|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=566f0b5bca03bf059ddb27a7fda24be1-Dacia-1_1_Pub.mp3]

One of the participants, Fort St. John’s Makaela Paynter, says she heard about the program through a councilor at Dr. Kearney school.  She says her dad is a mechanic, and she is considering taking the trade program in high-school. [asset|aid=1740|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=566f0b5bca03bf059ddb27a7fda24be1-Makaela-1_2_Pub.mp3]

Paynter says she was a little scared the first time she drove her go-kart, but got the hang of it pretty quickly. [asset|aid=1741|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=566f0b5bca03bf059ddb27a7fda24be1-Makaela-2_1_Pub.mp3]

‘Go Karts 4 Girls’ was first created by the North East Native Advancing Society, and the program was recognized by Sci-Tech North, with its Innovation in Education Award.

Photo – Three drivers racing in an afternoon heat at Friday’s ‘Go Karts 4 Girls’.  Jon Zacks – Energeticcity.ca

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