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Jenny Beatty
Jenny Beatty Name: Jenny Beatty
Date Honored: 09-15-2008
Years involved w/FIRST: 7
FIRST Team(s): Lockheed Martin/AAI Corporation/BD/Towsontowne Rotary/Tessco &, Parkville High School and Center for Mathematics, Science, and Computer Science (0007), FIRST / Other (0000)
Role: NEMO, Senior Mentor
Quote: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” John Lennon
Bio: Jenny has been a staple of FIRST for many years and has brought much to the table for the teams in the Maryland area, in addition to those throughout the program. To summarize her involvement in short terms she has done it all. When asked Jenny sent in her FIRST resume which consisted of being a Co-Founder of NEMO (the Non-Engineering Mentor Organization), a team mentor on 007, FIRST senior mentor of Maryland, a member of the Chesapeake Regional planning committee, along with many other roles at various events.

One of the toughest questions we ask our honorees is what their fondest FIRST memory is, and as you can imagine with all her experience Jenny provided us with a few.
  • Watching Team007 cut their plywood robot in half, between matches at the Maryland State Fair and move from last place to the winning alliance.
  • Having Margaret Flowers say to me “Of course I remember you, you’re the only person who ever asked me for my autograph.”
  • Being asked to give a presentation on FIRST to NASA interns and then discovering about 1/3 of the room were FIRST alumni. Instead of giving a presentation, I had them do it!
  • Getting a phone call from the Governor’s Office announcing that the Maryland mentors in FIRST were receiving the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award.

When Jenny was asked about some advice to share she said “Ask for help often from others and accept it with an open mind. Be creative, but also use the resources already out there.” This is sound advice even beyond the FIRST world, as there are always people who are willing to give help. She added that you should “pay attention to the details, deadlines and the paperwork. Your team can show up at a regional with a crate full of parts, and get a robot built, but not if you didn’t complete the shipping forms or the bus reservations.” Which is sound advice and a good reminder that each team should have one person join NEMO.

Jenny has given many presentations on FIRST to outsiders so we asked about what to tell them. She replied that is just as important to figure out how to say it then what to say. “My advice is understand your audience. The elevator speech for FIRST is hard. Tailor it to whomever you are speaking with. If it’s not a formal presentation, start small with the “30-second” explanation. If they are still listening, add another minute, but be prepared to stop. Be sure to allow your audience a way to ask questions and follow-up. Of course, nothing beats explaining while at a competition or watching a team in action during the build season or at a team presentation. But you need to learn to stop before their eyes glaze over. Sometimes our passion for the program and for the students can get in the way.”

With all of her accomplishments and achievements for FIRST we would like to encourage people to take the opportunity to learn from her and our other UFH. Congrats Jenny for being selected as our 61st Unsung FIRST Hero.

Nominated By: confidential

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