Nicolas Ortiz, 15, of Country Walk is the youngest person in the nation to participate in the Formula 1000 Racing Championship Series.
His passion for speed and drive to succeed have led him to achieve a high level of driving experience by competing in difficult divisions, earning several wins and podium finishes. In May at the F1000 Grand Prix of Motorsport in Canada, Nicolas, the youngest driver on the race track, placed in the Top 5.
Nicolas started racing go karts at 13. Since then, his sole focus has been to continue advancing in the motorsport world and one day become a Formula 1 driver. His strong commitment to racing has not affected his performance at school. Recently recognized for his academic achievements, Nicolas is an outstanding student involved in various extracurricular activities including volunteer projects with Key Club and Ventana de los Sueños, a local charity that supports autism research.
Racing is a family affair at the Ortiz’s household. Nicolas’s parents, Fernando and Yvonne, have committed not only longs hours to accompany him to his training sessions and races abroad, but also their savings, as the investment for each individual race can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Native to Cartagena, Colombia, his mom and dad are immigrants who came to the United States chasing the American dream. They are very proud of their son, who is a student at Archbishop Coleman Carroll High School.
Circle of Love 5K
The inaugural Shelly Roberts Circle of Love “5K for the Kids” Walk/Run was a huge success at Tropical Park.
More than 220 runners and walkers participated to support this important fundraising event. All proceeds raised went directly to benefit the Children’s Cancer Fund, a Jackson Memorial Foundation affiliated organization, and the Footprints Buddy and Support Program at the Pediatric Oncology/Hematology Unit at Shands Hospital for Children at the University of Florida.
This fundraiser was the brainchild of Miami’s Ali Sokol, who single handedly planned and organized this event in honor of her grandmother, Shelly Roberts, a cancer survivor. In the summer 2005, Shelly’s life was forever changed when she was diagnosed with lung cancer. As Shelly battled cancer, she became distraught at the high cost of medical treatment and grew concerned for those less fortunate who could not afford it.
Under the guidance of the Coral Gables Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, the Shelly Roberts Circle of Love was created to raise money for these seriously ill cancer patients and their families who are in desperate need of additional support during this overwhelming and stressful time.
In the past seven years, the Circle of Love has been raising money through donations and other fundraising events, using the funds to benefit many families dealing with cancer, especially families battling childhood cancer.
The “5K for the Kids” was specifically created to raise money for two organizations that directly deal with children fighting cancer. This year’s event raised more than $15,000 to be divided between The Children’s Cancer Fund and The Footprints Buddy and Support Program.
The Children’s Cancer Fund, a Jackson Memorial Foundation affiliated organization, provides support services for children and their families as they are dealing with cancer treatments. The money donated by the Circle of Love has been used for medications, food, lodging, gas cards for transportation to and from treatment, and other family emergency situations. Funds have also been used for information/comfort bags for newly diagnosed patients, special celebrations, such as birthdays or end of treatment, and Arts in Medicine projects.