I absolutely tribute both my passion for the space program, and fortune to be a part of it because of my involvement with FIRST.
Without FIRST, I would have never developed an interest in science and technology in high school. In college wouldn’t have had the opportunity to work as an educator at the Kennedy Space Center if I didn’t meet 233 mentor Gabe Salas. Post college graduation I wouldn’t have obtained a career at Lockheed Martin if it weren’t for the Lockheed Martin mentors on 1902, Ryan Leitch and Sarah Plemmons, whom I spent many hours with volunteering.
In the interview for this recent position I asked the panel of interviewers “Do any of you know about FIRST?” and I received the response “Why yes, my son is on a team!”
And here is the kicker… I’m not even an engineering major. FIRST mission is to inspire all students who go through the program, even the ones not destined to be engineers. Without this inspiration, who knows where I would have been this week, but certainly not on the 10th floor of a launch pad.
I owe a ton to my original teachers and mentors, to the corporate sponsors who made investments in the future, to the Florida Regional Planning Committee, and the hundreds of volunteers who made my life possible. I’m already registered in VIMS to support 11 FIRST events in the 2014-2015 season, so I too can help others realize how bright their futures can be.
You don’t need a time machine to change the future.