Former racer Danica Patrick will visit Missouri State in 2024 to support Bears WIN program

Former professional racing driver Danica Patrick will visit Missouri State in February to support the new Bears WIN program.

WIN stands for Women's Impact Network, a group of advocates who will honor the impact of women by addressing the most pressing needs of students at the university.

It will work on key areas such as degree completion support and mental wellness.

Danica Patrick drove the pace car at the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 30, 2021.
Danica Patrick drove the pace car at the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 30, 2021.

Patrick, an entrepreneur and author, will speak at 7 p.m. Feb. 28 at Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts. It is free and open to the public.

“As we rev up Bears WIN after a lot of hard work and planning, join us in hearing from an inspiring trailblazer,” said Brent Dunn, executive director of the MSU Foundation, in a release. “Danica has not only made a mark on the racetrack, but she has also paved the way for women’s empowerment.”

Patrick’s appearance is made possible by presenting sponsor Physical Therapy Specialists Clinic — Mary and Jeff Schrag. Jeff Schrag is a member of the MSU Board of Governors and Mary Schrag has served on the board in the past.

According to a release, Bears WIN — and the Grizzlies WIN on the West Plains campus — is a network of advocates honoring the impact of women in philanthropy. Members share their time, talent and resources to turn big ideas into measurable and meaningful change.

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The network’s goal is to bring awareness and funding to some of the most pressing needs of MSU students. It aims to raise $500,000 by 2026 for three areas that affect students from all backgrounds.

  • Mental wellness: Financial assistance for students seeking counseling or psychiatric services at Magers Health and Wellness Center;

  • Degree completion: Help for students who have exhausted other areas of assistance, but still need financial support to complete a degree;

  • Mental wellness and neurodiversity on the West Plains campus: Support for the ASCEND (Autism Support Can Empower New Directions) program for students on the autism disorders spectrum who are transitioning out of high school.

Patrick's book “Pretty Intense: The 90-Day Mind, Body and Food Plan that will absolutely Change Your Life" was made into a podcast, which she hosts. Patrick covers F1, IndyCar and Nascar for Fox Sports, NBC Sports and Sky Sports.

This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: Danica Patrick will visit Missouri State in 2024. What to know