Allison won first place at the FirstEnergy Rally Masters Division in the 81st All-American Soap Box Derby, held on July 21 in Akron, Ohio making her the first Coloradoan to win a national soap box title since 1972.
Allison told GVA students that she started racing when she was 9 years old. A family affair soap box derby started with Pankoff’s grandfather, who was the director of the local race in Colorado. He then passed racing down to Pankoff’s father, who raced for two years. Together, Allison and her father built the ultimate soap box derby car.
Alison shared stories of racing and the importance of persevering with students in grades 3-7. In addition, she encouraged students to pursue their dreams no matter how far out they may seem.
Students enjoyed spending time with Ms. Pankoff learning about All-American Soap Box Derby and getting an up-close look at a real derby car. In addition to questions about racing, students asked several questions about college life (Allison is currently a student at CSU). Middle school students wanted to know how many credits Allison was taking in school, how to pay for college and if you can wear pajamas to class!