INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – An Indianapolis middle school student hopes to become the youngest Indy 500 champion in history, but he’s also making a difference in the classroom.
Elliot Cox, a 7-time national go-kart points champion, started a charity in memory of an Indy car driver whose words he says changed the way he viewed himself, according to FOX59.
Cox, who has been racing since he was 5 years old, was encouraged through the words of driver Justin Wilson. While racing has come naturally to Elliot, reading did not. He was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 6.
“I did get called stupid, and dumb, and I didn’t want to read out loud,” Cox said.
Wilson, an IndyCar driver, was also diagnosed with dyslexia.
“I got to meet with him and he told me this doesn’t make you stupid and that I shouldn’t let it stop me,” Cox told Fox59.
Cox took Wilson’s advice. The words on his helmet now say, “Dyslexia doesn’t stop me.”
Wilson was killed in 2015 by a piece of debris that struck his helmet at Pocono Raceway.
Hoping to carry on his legacy, Elliot started a charity called Driving For Dyslexia.
The annual indoor go-kart race charges drivers $100 to enter. The fundraiser has brought in $78,000 so far.
“It means a lot to me because I don’t want other kids to feel stupid like I did,” Cox said. “I just want to raise money for tutors so they can help other kids learn to read better and not let dyslexia get in the way of everything.”
The charity partnered with The Dyslexia Institute of Indiana, an organization that worked closely with Wilson.
Cox hopes to double the amount of money raised for Driving For Dyslexia next year.