Behind the scenes at Churchill Downs: Jeri Howell ’16 interns with Backside Learning Center

Few places are as closely associated with Kentucky history and culture as Churchill Downs, which has hosted the annual Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks thoroughbred races since its opening in 1865. Many of the workers behind the scenes at the racetrack, however, come from places far away from the Bluegrass State. In recent decades, immigration has impacted the Kentucky horse industry, and today’s equine workers in the backside barns at the Downs are more likely to hail from Latin America than Louisville. Jeri Howell, a Spanish major at Centre College, is spending her summer getting to know some of these workers through an internship at the Backside Learning Center (BLC), a non-profit organization created to enhance the lives of backside workers at Churchill Downs through education, life skill resources and community-building.

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