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Name: Greg Marra
Date Honored: 09-01-2008
Years involved w/FIRST: 4
FIRST Team(s): UTC Power &, South Windsor High School (0177), Hyde Park Educational Complex/Olin College/Smith Family Foundation of Boston (2124)
Role: College Mentor
Quote: "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." Mahatma Gandhi
Bio: Greg Marra is a well known in FIRST robotics as one of the creators of The Blue Alliance, a site which has changed the way the FIRST community experiences different events and archives match results. Working with the Boston Planning committee and TBATV he has helped countless rookie teams who’s success can be directly related to Greg’s Involvements.
When we asked Greg about his favorite FIRST memory he shared: “My college, Olin College, has been mentoring team 1152/2124 from Hyde Park, MA for about five years now. Last year, three girls who joined the team as high school freshmen graduated, and they are all going on to continue their studies with scholarships that enabled this to happen. It's one thing to compete on the field and strive to win, but it's an entirely other thing to see the life changing impact FIRST has on individual students' lives. This is where the power of the program is.”
When asked about advice he might give others looking to get involved in the FIRST program Greg Replied: “Go for it. I didn't join my high school's FIRST team until my Junior year because I wasn't sure if I would like it or not. If I had tried it and not liked it, the worst thing that would have happened is I would have wasted a Wednesday evening. Find mentors who will believe in you and encourage you. And if you're not having fun, you're doing it wrong.”
With all of his successes with projects we questioned what inspired him to keep pushing the envelope: “I am inspired when I meet people who found something that they thought was missing from the world and made it. People with passion for what they do and drive behind them are incredible to talk to, because they get me excited for their ideas and make me want to go out and start all sorts of projects of my own. These are the people who inspire me to go and change the world. The only reason things are the way they are now is because someone once made them that way. Go out and make things the way you want them to be in the future.”
Finally we asked him to share some advice for other mentors in the FIRST program: “My advice to mentors is to excite and inspire. Give students a background and a goal, and let them go for it. Point them at the right resources, encourage them to ask questions, but set them up to pull themselves to success.”
With all that he has contributed to the program in these few short year we are proud to honor Greg Marra as our 60th Unsung FIRST Hero.
Nominated By: Tom Bottiglieri
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