How has the experiences in FIRST change your life?

It has changed my life in such a positive way, especially this year. When i joined in 7h grade (our team lets middle schoolers on so we can teach them what tools do what, but we don’t allow them to use heavy machines until they are in high school, since we don’t have a school FLL team) I had little to no friends… the through out the years I have done this program (I’m in 12th now) It has boosted my self-esteem and made me friends in our team and in school. This year, we did a lot of public speaking. At first I was ,of course, nervous. But a few public speaking events, I could speak in front of everyone. We did some speeches in front of 200+ people, presented awards at FLL events, etc. I have also met wonderful people who came to help mentor the team. We’ve had a new machinist come in and help the kids on our milling machine, lathe and bandsaw. I also learned how to deal with hardship, and experienced the leaving of the mentor who was with the team since the start. I also have met people who will be very successful in life, and who are going places.

So please tell me, what have your experiences be.

P.S. No matter what happens a build season, you will always have memories.

You probably expected replies from students but FIRST changes mentor’s lives also. I got to spend years working with my son and daughter (now both EEs). It was a great blessing. And I made a “friend for life”, the computer science teacher/sponsor, and continue to mentor the team. Thanks FIRST!

Ive seen our machinist go up and talk to Dean Kamen in NYC about how this program was great, but he put it in better words

I really owe so much in my life to FIRST in general. I’ve been involved for 5 years now and it’s been one of the most amazing (FRUSTRATING) experiences of my entire life. Build season had a tendency to be a TON of stress and it pushed my commitment quite a lot. However I’m so glad I stuck with it no matter, regionals always made it all worth it. I was able to look back each year and see pass the stress and confusion build season can create and also see all the amazing parts of it as well. I’ve learned so much in the last five years and FIRST has given me so much hope in my life. I’ve moved around a lot in my life so I’ve been a part of 3 teams now. 157 (The Aztechs) was my original team and I cannot thank them enough for getting me hooked (My sleep schedule may have a few select words but I don’t listen to that anyways :P) I met some amazing people and the mentors on that team are some of the best (Shout out to Marcus I heard about that Woodie Flowers thing :wink: Manly tears) I also was on 2059 (The Hitchhikers) for some off season time last year. Though I never did a build season with them they were a fantastic and dedicated team and it was awesome to get to know some of them. Finally and currently I’m on 2052 (KinightKrawler) where can I even begin with these guys. Build season was a whirl for sure and I’ll admit I was nervous, I’m a senior this is my last year in FIRST and I wanted it to be as epic as possible. Once we got to our first regional in Duluth and our robot started to prove it’s merit I was quite happy. But that cannot come close to what I felt when the final score for the F3 match came up announcing our alliance as the regional winners. I’m fairly sure I had no pulse since SF 1 and when we won? I started sobbing like a baby. This brought about many hugs from members and now good friends of 2052 who were all just as excited for me to get to go to St. Louis for the first time! There were many many manly tears I cried after that, through awards (I managed to keep my composure for the judges when we got our medals) and afterwards. (Also teary half coherent thanks to the mentors of 2052) We won our second regional 10k lakes as well, at that one I did much more in the pits and overall had an even more exciting and better time (who thought that was possible) Now I’m looking forward to working pit crew for Champs soon and I’m SO excited for that. Every year I have been in FIRST was a blessing and I will always be grateful for this program. Every person I have met and everything I have done related to FIRST has impacted me (I’m not always great out outwardly displaying things but truly it has) Once I get settled into college in a year or two I hope to be able to mentor (It might have to be after I graduate but that’s to be seen.) I plan to continue on with engineering and have a strong passion towards biomedical. FIRST gave me so much more then I could have ever even thought to ask for when I joined that first year. I remember my older sister saying to me that I would like it because I liked putting things together. I hardly think she knew what she was getting me into but I’m so glad I did. So to every single member, mentor, volunteer, sponsor or fan of FIRST, Thank you. What FIRST does changes lives for the better and the world needs that so much.