The impact of FIRST

Hey everyone! I just wanted to share my experience with FIRST and tell how it has had an impact on my life. I was wondering if anyone else wanted to share their story of how FIRST has impacted them as well?

First off, I have hip problems and have had multiple hip surgeries in the past 4 years which now limits my physical activity. I was never really a “sports person” so not being able to play sports hasn’t bothered me too much. What did bother me was that I wasn’t able to do anything else which allowed me to interact with other people and have fun. At one point I couldn’t even enjoy hanging out with friends at the mall or things like that because of the chronic pain I was dealing with. Well that all changed when I found out about FIRST. After being home schooled for a few years, I joined team 2080 Torbotics my freshman year of high school. I was very skeptical about whether or not I would actually be able to participate and do things like everybody else though.

I’m very glad I joined my team because I was proven wrong. Through the program that FIRST has created I was finally able to feel part of something and I was able to do things again. I may have limitations on walking long distances and other physical activities, but with FIRST I finally found my place. I have been able to help build the robots, work with business stuff, be a part of the Chairman’s group this year, and so much more. Most importantly though, I’ve been able to have fun again and I have learned skills that will help me for the rest of my life. I honestly cannot begin to put into words how thankful I am to everyone who makes FIRST possible.

Before I joined FIRST I felt like I didn’t have a place in the world and thought I didn’t have a future because I had a physical disability that limited my ability to do things. Through FIRST I’ve learned that there is a world full of opportunities, for everyone! It has allowed me to explore different career choices that I never even knew existed. Although I don’t plan to become an engineer, with the help of FIRST I’ve learned just how important it is to give back, and I’ve decided to become a doctor to help kids with special needs. I want to be able to let every person know that they aren’t left out just because of certain things you aren’t able to do. FIRST will always have a spot for you to be a part of something and it inspires you to do great things with your life. So I just want to give a big thanks to all the people who have dedicated countless hours in order to make FIRST possible because it has changed my life in many great ways.

Please, please email this story to [email protected]
They would love to read this, plus you never know what might happen.

awesome story. Thanks for sharing!

I started coaching a few years back not knowing what I was getting into. I thought it was an engineering competition. I stay with this organization for many reasons. One of the most important is that I feel I am providing a service to my school. I provide a “sports” opportunity for those students who never quite fit into the typical high school sports scene. Thanks for again reaffirming that FIRST is not about the robot.


I think many of us on this forum feel the same way about FIRST. I have now been a mentor/ volunteer longer then I was a student in the program. Seeing the former students do something positive with their skills from FIRST after they have graduated is the only thank you most of our mentors need. Thanks for sharing.


I could write every impact FIRST had on me, but it would be 20 pages long. To keep it simple. It has changed my life more than anything else. I have been so rewarded by robotics in so many ways.

I get to have fun, learn how to do anything and everything (I like to do a little bit of everything), drive amazing machines, and have many more opportunities.

I have my current job as machinest and I got it because of the experience I have from first

I skipped my senior vacation to mexico because I have the possibility of going to states which lies in the same week

No other activity has hhadthat much of an effect on me to make that big of compromise

Thanks, I just sent the email!:smiley:

You’re very welcome. I think that while the focus of FIRST has always been about inspiring people while engaging them in STEM opportunities, many people and teams can get caught up on the robot and winning a little too much. Yes, the robot is important and winning awards is great, but I believe FIRST is about the whole experience of your journey through the program and everything you have gained from it.

Drew- You’re welcome as well. I definitely want to make everyone proud and let them know that their efforts were worth it, so I will try my hardest to do positive things with the skills I have learned from FIRST.

Thanks for sharing your story, Brody.

This isn’t something I talk a lot about on Chief, but I struggle with a chronic pain issue as well, resulting from knee surgeries and sports injuries. I never thought about the idea that FIRST would be a good fit for someone going through those things. Well said. I’m glad you sent your story to FIRST. :slight_smile:

As a mentor, real stories like this are worth more than anything. Thanks for sharing and continue to do great things!

Thanks for sharing your story! I think FIRST impacted me by learning new things I didn’t know before and experiencing things that never happened to me. I learned how to make buttons for our Promotions department. I also do Mechanics as well. In Mechanics, I used tools that I’ve heard of but never used like a drill. I also learned how to tap extruded aluminum. When I was a Freshman, the team that I’m on (Team 564, Longwood Robotics, Middle Island, NY) won Chairman’s at our regional (SPBLI Regional). I was surprised because I thought we we’re going to win it. The last time our team won Chairman’s was 2003. It was an eye opener for me because it was my 1st year on the team. In addition with me being an African American female, I’m opening the door to women and minorities to participate in programs like FIRST.