Hello, lovely followers! We’re excited to announce that we’re adding Saturdays posts to our schedule. These posts will be admins’ personal stories on both LGBTQ+ and FIRST related things! With Kickoff right around the corner, we are looking forward to new students joining and becoming active members in the FIRST community. Because of this, I wanted to share what drew me into the wonderful world of FIRST.
I’ve participated in a variety of activities in High School. From Math League to Speech to Knowledge Bowl to Prom Committee, I just hadn’t found a perfect fit for me. All of these extracurriculars were great but had the same problem. They all put me in a position where I was forced to compete against my friends, whether for the prom theme or a spot on the bus to sections. As a student with anxiety, it was a serious problem. Late into my sophomore year, a few students on the robotics team reached out to me and expressed their love for FIRST. I was intrigued, but it was far too late in the season for me to join. It also overlapped with several of my other commitments. I finished sophomore year curious about what would happen if I joined robotics.
At the beginning of my junior year, I was approached again. Students would sit next to me at lunch and tell me about what it is like on the team. It was the beginning of the team’s third year, and they were coming off a successful season where they qualified for Minnesota State Championships. I heard about the amazing opportunities, great friendships, and was told over and over how good FIRST looks on a college application. The coach of the team told me about the different skills I would learn, and how they would apply to a future career in STEM. I caved and attended the interest meeting, a decision that has changed my life. I was brought into an environment where a group of students truly worked as a team. My team became a second family for me, and I will be forever grateful for them. The first regional I attended was the first time our team took home a blue banner. Being regional winners earned us a spot in St Louis at the World Championship. Success and growth in a team-oriented environment is exactly what I need in an extracurricular. As my second and final season approaches, I now try to reach out to as many students as possible, telling them about how much I love the community in FIRST and the great opportunities they have on an FRC team. I do this with hopes that it’ll provide the same great experience for others as it has for me.
– Abby, MN FIRST
About LGBTQ+ of FIRST
LGBTQ+ of FIRST is an organization dedicated to raising awareness and acceptance of LGBTQ+ participants in FIRST Robotics. LGBTQ+ of FIRST was started to spread visibility of the LGBTQ+ community within FIRST and help teams become safe spaces for their members.