|I feel that the only friends I have ever had are people I know through FIRST. Being on a team gave me the sense of belonging that I thought I didn't even need. FIRST has given me a great life that I never thought I would have. - Alaina [more]|
Name: Alan Skierkiewicz
Date Honored: 12-01-2004
Years involved w/FIRST: 9
FIRST Team(s): Motorola &, Rolling Meadows High School &, Wheeling High School (0111)
Role: Adult Mentor, Electrical
Quote: I met a man with a dollar, we exchanged dollars and each of us left with a dollar. I met a man with an idea, we exchanged ideas and each of us left with two ideas.
Bio: Al Skierkiewicz is a familiar face in the pits of team 111, Wildstang. Having been involved in FIRST for 9 years, Al has not only been well known for helping out fellow teams in the heat of competition, but also offering outstanding advice on the ChiefDelphi forums.
Al shared a favorite memory and his favorite thing about competitions. "It is difficult now to come up with just one favorite. The top one of course, was being present for our national win in Houston. It just seemed like everything was going right for us. It was very surrealistic as we watched good teams dropping out of the finals and then finally getting to the main stage and having all these people in the stands cheering us on. It can’t really get much better than that.
"Each competition we attend is my most new favorite memory as I get a chance to meet and talk with all the folks I converse with here on CD. It is very special to be treated like one of the team when I meet anyone at competition. These times are more like family reunions then competitions between rivals. I have to say there was no free time during Nationals this year between matches and meeting folks. I love when everyone comes over to HI!"
Al also is very involved in the FIRST Lego League. "I have only one real accomplishment in FIRST and that is being part of helping student after student progress from Lego League to high school through FIRST and onto college." He also breaches the mentor/parent gap, and claims it has been a positive experience for him. "My accomplishments are measured by the number of students that find happiness in FIRST and a sense that they are really capable of doing something important and helping others. I have been blessed to watch my own two children make that transition in FIRST. I hope I can continue to help students in the future."
Al also gives us a lot of solid advice for every FIRSTer to follow. "If you learn nothing else from this competition remember these two things…
"1. Almost anything is possible. Don’t let someone tell you it can’t be done, find out for yourself or just do it. Mankind has been held back for thousands of years by the respected people in high places impeding progress. It is a miracle we made it out of the middle ages. Learn from your own history. When many countries were being repressed by their governments, the U.S. allowed inventors to take us to the moon and beyond in just a few short decades.
"2. A person will find more opportunity with the attitude “I can do that!” If you had refused when the FIRST opportunity came to you, you would not be reading this. If I had said “No” when asked to help fix an electrical problem on a robot, I wouldn’t be writing this. My life has been a very happy one because of the many times I was open to opportunity."
Congratulations to Al Skierkiewicz for being honored as our next Unsung FIRST Hero.
Nominated By: confidential
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