Jane, do we just like, share 1 brain?
My personal self confidence is the #1 thing that FIRST has given me. I credit one man, and his name is Walt Hickok. This man took me from a kid who joined robotics because I walked into the right place at the right time and gave me inspiration. He let me do anything I wanted and supported me, encouraging me that everything that I did could be the beginning of something great. With his support, I was able to open up and try new things.
The more support like Walt's that I got, the more I tried. I got stronger, I took more chances. And it worked. The more I attempted, the more I found myself capable of. By the end of my freshman year of college, I had started and ran a rookie team. But the big thing for me, at that time, wasn't that. It was how I had done it. I had talked to icons, people who I had never imagined I would have the guts to talk to. They told me that they knew who I was, and they did everything that they could to help me.
Now I sometimes pinch myself, walking up to people like Jim Zondag, Dave, Andy Baker and just forming conversation. I've talked to executives at General Motors, just like they are friends.
I have gained so much confidence since I joined FIRST. I have done things that I never thought possible. I am not intimidated, and I feel like that gives me a significant advantage over my peers. I look around myself in my classes and feel like I have the possibility for so much more. Between the opportunities that FIRST has given me, and the confidence to feel like anything I want is within my reach.
Jane, seriously, we are like, one person...