Volunteer Spotlight: Susan Schenk

Name: Susan Schenk

Volunteer Position(s): Behind-the-Scenes tour guide, Greeter, sometimes Archives

I started volunteering in: March 2015 when the museum opened

Q: When and how did you become a motorsports enthusiast?

I am a retired educator and am more interested in the educational outreach of World of Speed. My husband is a total gearhead volunteer, so my interest in motorsports is really an interest in doing volunteer work together and being part of a museum of this caliber.

Q: What kind of influence has that had on your life?

In my retirement I do a lot of volunteering and have worked as a guide in other museums as well. I am fascinated with museums behind the scenes operations and marketing and the archives.

Q: What makes volunteering at World of Speed meaningful to you?

I appreciate the thoughtfulness and thoroughness of the museum’s goals, operations and structure. I felt privileged to be part of this organization when it first opened and as it evolves.

Q: What is the most memorable experience of your time volunteering?

I am moved by the success of the Auto Tech program. My nephew was a bright but dyslexic failing student until he enrolled in a similar auto tech program. He blossomed and earned a BS in auto tech and manufacturing, turning his life around. I was a teacher and vice-principal at Benson High School in Portland which has a magnet career tech program including Auto Tech. I understand founder Dave Bany’s observations about the power of learning by doing and I see how several hundred local high school students are thriving because of the cooperation between World of Speed and Clackamas Community College.

Q: What do you wish other people knew about World of Speed?

There are interesting exhibits for those who are less than rabid motorsports fans, and the Auto Technology program is fantastic.

Q: If you could choose any vehicle to be displayed in the museum, what would it be?

Any that tell a story of overcoming obstacles.

Q: What is your dream car?

I go to many Cruse-ins with my car enthusiast husband, and I am always drawn to the elegant but over the top, restored Cords and Auburns.

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