Interested in building your government relations and STEM advocacy program? Register now for the upcoming zoom Virginia Advocacy Conference! Sunday April 18th, 2:00pm-5:30pm.
Virginia Advocacy Conference (VAAC) is an opportunity for FRC and FTC teams across the Commonwealth of Virginia to gain all the tools to start political advocacy with their team, learn about advocacy objectives, as well as having some social time with other teams due to the lack of opportunities to meet with other teams in person this year!
Program will include best practices and toolkits to plan your team's STEM/FIRST advocacy at the state and local levels. Featuring Dean Roberts (Rolls Royce and chair, FIRST Chesapeake), Mark Smith (Exec Director, Government Relations, George Mason University) and a 4-team student panel (including Team 422 The Mech Tech Dragons, 1086 Blue Cheese, and Talon 540). Games and prizes, plus student networking! Open to all interested FTC/FRC participants! Register here or on the va-advocacy.com website.
We are enthused to bring you an installment of the "Women in STEM Spotlight Series Sponsored by Leidos." This series highlights women involved in the FIRST community in DC, Maryland and Virginia who are an inspiration for our program's young women and girls.
Name: Rose Young
Place of Employment: Retired
Job Title: Volunteer and Mentor
What is your specific job in STEM? How would you describe this job to young women and girls?
Former teacher, engineer, Naval officer, scientist.
Who inspired you to choose a career in a STEM field?
My high school chemistry and physics teacher challenged me and opened a world that engaged my curiosity, intellect and sense of order. At the same time, he let me explore and see connections. I think I was always drawn to what we now call "STEM" long before the acronym was coined, but Mr. Willis surely had a major impact on my life. He gave confidence and helped me find ways to succeed and grow. I went on to the Naval Academy and a career as an Engineering Duty Officer, left active duty to raise my children and then began teaching. I never lost my curiosity and interest in science.
What is the coolest thing about your job?
My many careers have been interesting to me, if not "cool" in the way most would perceive the term. What is most rewarding to me is working to engage my sailors in the Navy and my students in the classroom, to help them see their own potential and open doors for them. Mentoring FIRST Teams is just the best possible way to do this job, the job of growing a new generation of inventors and creators. While I now am officially retired from at least two careers, I feel that I still have a meaningful job as a mentor.
What is the coolest thing that has happened while being involved (volunteering or mentoring) with FIRST?
The most rewarding and memorable moments for me are the clear demonstrations of growth in young people. I can remember the freshman who could barely mumble a response to a question blossoming into a confident spokesperson. I recall young women skittish around power tools later taking the lead in building robots. Seeing alumni come back to volunteer, and to share experiences with others, gives my great joy. And seeing my own sons succeed in their careers and stay connected with teammates is pretty cool.
Anything else you'd like to share?
For this article I chose a photo of me with my two sons at an Alumni event. I was presented with a small token of team appreciation for "Selfless Dedication" and my boys were there for the event. What a special day!
FIRST President Larry Cohen has decided to retire early so that he can spend more time with his family. Larry joined FIRST in December, 2019, after a distinguished 30+ year career leading information technology and operations efforts at AllianceBernstein, Morgan Stanley, UBS, and Goldman Sachs.
Our thanks to Larry for his successful leadership during a very difficult time, with the pandemic restricting most after-school activities and challenging organizational missions, impacts and finances.
We are pleased to appoint Chris Rake as Interim President, effective March 29. Chris is the Vice President of Programs for FIRST and leads the largest organization within FIRST. Chris has demonstrated outstanding technology and operational leadership skills. Chris is a true FIRST enthusiast and, as a volunteer, mentors several FIRST teams.