ATLANTA - Being a college sophomore at Georgia Tech is difficult enough, but that's only half the story for one student. Right now, 19-year old Rosalee Ramer is taking the monster truck world by storm, as this year's Monster Jam Rookie of the Year.
At first glance, Rosalee could be mistaken for a typical college student. "I love Georgia Tech. It's great. I love being right in the middle of the city, but it still has a college campus feel," she says.
But on the weekends, Rosalee is mostly on the west coast, behind the wheel of Wild Flower, her 50-ton monster truck, competing with men twice her age.
"The power in a monster truck...16-hundred horse power, underneath you, that's a lot of responsibility but it's also an adrenaline rush," she explains.
Rosalee helped to build her own truck at age 14, a passion she picked up early, alongside her monster truck racing father.
"It's always been something I love and I get to do it with my dad, which makes it even better," she adds.
She says she loves anything with an engine, as she looks over the "Ramblin’ Wreck," a 1930 Ford Model A Sport coupe used as a school mascot. While she'd love to take The Wreck for a spin, I don't think it could do all the same tricks. "Some of my favorite things to do are slap wheelies, I get such a big adrenaline rush from going up and over a car, bringing it back down then bringing it all the way back up on the rear-end," Rosalee adds.
The roaring crowd is put on the backburner during the week though, as Rosalee trades in racing gear for textbooks and homework. "I'm from California, California girl through and through but I wanted to try living in the south and Georgia Tech had such an amazing program," she says. "There aren't many schools that compare to the schools in California as far as engineering goes, but Georgia Tech is definitely up there. So it gave me a great opportunity to explore engineering and also come live somewhere different."
Rosalee is studying mechanical engineering, and hopes to one day bridge her two passions. "I would love to bring mechanical engineering into the automotive field. I'm not sure if I want to do something big like Porsche or GM or something like that, or if I want to go a little smaller and go into the off road industry but I've got a couple more years to figure that out."
Wild flower, Rosalee's truck is based in California, but she's excited to announce it will make its first trip to Atlanta in March for next year's Monster Jam event at the Georgia Dome.