January 8, 2024 | Harold Hare
Video: 2023 Future-Ready Mentors
In 2023, Find Your Grind proudly welcomed a diverse group of inspiring mentors to our ever-growing library, all of whom embody the essential values students need to become future-ready, such as resilience, adaptability, and the relentless pursuit of their passions.
Our Mentor program is a vital component to the Find Your Grind Future-Ready curriculum, enriching students’ understanding of the real world through the lens of accomplished professionals. With over 200 mentors from diverse backgrounds, races, and careers, we empower students to relate, learn, and take actionable steps toward future success. Find Your Grind believes that our mentor content bridges the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical wisdom, fostering a generation of future-ready individuals to thrive in an ever-changing world.
Get ready to explore the captivating stories and expertise of our highlighted mentors as we present their unique journeys and insights:
Meet Barry Beecham, a key player at Curry Motorsports specializing in special projects. His journey began in 1987 after witnessing an off-road race in Barstow, California, which ignited his passion for working on off-road racecars. Barry thrives on innovation, constantly seeking ways to enhance existing designs and tackle unconventional challenges. Whether it’s fabricating, assembling, or fine-tuning, Barry’s dedication to perfection fuels his work at Curry Motorsports.
Jessi Combs, initially a metal fabricator with a knack for building hot rods, motorcycles, and offroad trucks, transitioned into a TV host and personality in her 20s. Her impressive career included hosting “Xtreme 4×4” for four years, appearing on “Mythbusters,” and various other TV projects. Beyond TV, Jessi was a fearless driver, competing in events like the Baja 1000 and setting multiple four-wheel land speed records, including the women’s land speed record at 398.95 mph in 2013 and an astonishing 522.78 mph in 2019.
Stuart Duckworth, the Brand Director of The Botanical Group, brings creative prowess to festivals, brands, and hospitality venues. An Australian who’s spent almost a year in the US, he credits his family, a family of eight including six high achievers, for shaping him. Stuart’s journey began at 16, working in his brother’s bar, sparking his lifelong passion for hospitality and understanding human interactions.
Spc. Samuel Alvarez was crowned the US Army Soldier of the Year in 2022. In his interview, Samuel explains how he got his start in the military and how it helps him live the life he wants to live. He constantly strives to be the best version of himself – pushing through mental and physical barriers to grow and succeed.
Sfc. Brandon Rodriguez has been in the Army for over 15 years and is currently in a leadership position overseeing 40+ people in his platoon. The Army provided Brandon the training and opportunity to develop leadership skills he uses every day to create other young leaders and ensure his platoon is ready, whenever they are called to duty.
Sgt. Andrew Row is a senior sniper in the 101st Airborne Division. Andrew defines success as being happy and doing what he loves, which is exactly what the Army allows him to do every day. One of his biggest strengths is developing relationships with other soldiers through shared hardships, which has also helped him become an impactful leader.
Meet Milosz Cieslak, originally from Poland but raised in New York since the age of 16. He’s been the Beverage Director for Botanical Group in Los Angeles for three years, overseeing five bars. Milosz crafts cocktails, maintains standards, and leads his team to beverage excellence daily.
Paige Crawford, a Texan hailing from Spring Branch, found her passion for nutrition during her high school track days. As a former hurdler, she realized the impact of nutrition on performance. Her journey led her to Texas Tech University, where she honed her expertise. Now, as the Chargers’ Team Dietician, Paige applies her knowledge to fuel peak performance on the field.
Meet Monty Koludrovic, Culinary Director at Botanical Group in Los Angeles. Hailing from regional Australia, he’s woven European experiences into his culinary journey. After stints in London and across Oz, Los Angeles beckoned. For three years now, he’s shared adventures with his kids. The job provides security and endless possibilities. Monty crafts his Los Angeles lifestyle, embracing change for a great life.
Michael Iriti, aka “Vanilla,” is Luke Bryan‘s Assistant Tour Manager. With a decade of experience, he handles the backstage chaos, from dressing rooms to sponsors. Michael’s dedication to Luke ensures a smooth tour. He’s in it for the long haul, making every moment count in the fast-paced world of music.
The diverse and dynamic group of mentors at Find Your Grind leave a lasting impact, equipping students with the resilience, adaptability, and passion needed for the future. From automotive innovation and record-breaking speeds to pioneering leadership in the military and culinary arts, each mentor’s journey reflects a unique facet of professional excellence and personal growth. Their stories and experiences, shared through the Future Ready Curriculum, don’t just teach; they inspire.
Are you an educator or administrator & want to learn more?
As we look ahead, we remain committed to enriching the lives of future-ready students, ensuring they are equipped with not just skills and knowledge, but also the wisdom and inspiration from those who’ve paved the way to success. Schedule time with us to learn more.