Gratitude & Insights

We’re Jumping for Joy and with Gratitude!

Thanks to the amazing generosity of our supporters, we’ve met our stretch goal with seven days left to go in our Kickstarter campaign. Additionally, students have raised another $400 on their own, so far, taking our summer fundraising efforts to nearly $2000, giving us a good start to the new season.

And we’ve also gained some thoughtful insights from some of our contributors, including this perspective setting post from donor Jake Schostag, who wrote, ” I was on a FIRST team in high school ≈15 years ago, and the experience has proven exceptionally valuable in my career. I’m not an engineer (at all). But having some background in CAD, programming, electronics design, etc. gained through that experience has provided me with a significant leg up on some of my counterparts in the regulatory compliance (legal) world surrounding electronics and power sports manufacturing.

“Get everything you can out of the experience. Engineering is a good place to end up – but the work you’re putting into this will be valuable for your future successes regardless of where you ultimately land.

It’s really wonderful to hear from someone who was on a FIRST team when FIRST was less than ten years old, and who not only found the experience “exceptionally valuable” but valuable “regardless of where you ultimately land,” reinforcing our conviction that however much fun the robot build might be, this is totally about so much more than a robot!


This is about skills development in everything from tool use, design and programming to relationship building, team work and “stick-to-itiveness” – a particularly useful quality nicely symbolized by our signature duct tape mascot.  “Rip it! Stick it! Done!” isn’t just a goofy cheer, it’s homage to conviction, endurance and durability.

Being part of a FIRST team means never giving up – on your build, your competition and especially on your team mates.  It’s easy to be supportive and cheerful when things are going well. It’s a lot more challenging when things aren’t going well, when things break, when there are differences of opinion, when nothing works.

We’re going to take Mr. Schostag’s advice to get everything we can out of this experience, and we’re very grateful for his and for others’ support and encouragement . We’ll continue paying it forward to our students and our FIRST community, no matter where we land!

Rip it! Stick it! Done!



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