FIRST Robotics and What it means to Me When discussing the FIRST Robotics Competition, you establish the entire point until you, at least, touch base on Gracious Professionalism. According to Dr. Woodie Allen, “Gracious professionalism is the backbone of the competition.” Yet, you can’t begin to develop an idea of gracious professionalism without knowing what the competition is. FIRST is an organization developed to encourage up and coming youth of all ages to be involved in the field of science and technology. You do not have to be in high school to participate in one of many competitions FIRST has to offer. The “Junior League”, the competition for junior high age students, has the opportunity to participate in the Lego League competition. Not only are they allowed to be introduced to the mechanics of robotics, the program is designed to instill the values of teamwork and perseverance to complete challenging tasks. It also teaches time management and good work ethics, while trying to build the most proficient robot. The competition gives the participants typical everyday tasks for the robot to complete. This year the task the robots are asked to perform is to carry a ball over a 24 by 56 foot playing field. The task is not as difficult as previous tasks, but it is the experience that you will learn from. As a great mind once said, “ It is not the goal, but it is the journey from which you learn.” Introducing our robot to younger students, is the most prominent idea I have for a community service project. FIRST robotics requires we perform various community service projects accumulating community service hours to be eligible to compete for the Rookie All-Stars and Chairman’s Award. Winning these awards will award the winning team scholarship money to attend a University of their standard or, allowing the members be generous enough, could ensure the upcoming team have sufficient funds to get a good start. Helping the less fortunate and the homeless are also excellent and accessible sources of community service hours. Volunteering at Project Stewpot, located in Jackson, Ms, and Gateway Rescue Missions, located in Pearl, Ms. At Stewpot we can donate food and work in the soup kitchen. On the other hand, in Pearl, we have The Gateway Rescue Missions. At Gateway we are allowed to work on the floor, on stock, and other various tasks the may request we perform. Not leaving out the ones that matter the most, the elderly. Peachtree Village is a nursing home located on the back road of Brandon, Ms. There we can do as I planned to do with the younger group, introduce our robot and perform a test show of what they could expect had they attended the competition. The elderly are always excited and enthusiastic to see new faces and interact with those willing to listen. Spending time with them might not only be educational for them, but also could be educational for us as well. Most all of the students, with an exception for one or two, are honors students that are more than capable of tutoring in various subjects. I, personally, am a member of Mu Alpha Theta, an organization which tutors math students every morning, before school, in room B213. I enjoy tutoring and believe that you can establish a friendship between you and the tutored and also learn a lesson or two yourself in the process. While some students wish to give up on the Robotics Competition after seeing the work which lies in the near future, I plan to tackle each and every task, two by two, in an attempt to get even or ahead. Yet, I cannot do this alone, this is a team effort and I will try to pull along as many of my teammates as possible. From mentoring the junior high on how to make the joystick move the robot to hearing stories from the elderly of how the wish they could have been in our position years ago, I plan to learn a tremendous amount of information, being it from a professor or a great grandfather. We can only wish of a positive outcome, but having the opportunity to compete and perform with the most elite of the south is priceless. If given the opportunity to take on the challenge again, I would go in with an even fuller force than I did this year. Mrs. Kelly Blossom is the teacher that we have to thank for telling us that we have the brain power to complete a task of this nature. Again, I thank you Mrs. Blossom for allowing me to put you through such a headache. Yet, we can not do this alone we need sponsors to help support us with travel, parts, and other expenses which may arise. This is a phenomenal opportunity and I am greatful for the opportunity the slightest amount would be of great appreciation to me and our team.