A little while ago, @ketchup posted asking to hear about people’s plans after high school. I thought that it would be inspiring for those still in VEX Robotics to hear from those individuals that have graduated high school and moved on to see what they are currently up to and how VEX has impacted their lives.
As for me, I left VEX Robotics in 2017 (after Starstruck ) and I am now in my junior year studying mechanical engineering at Washington State University in Pullman, WA. Since 2018, I have been an active member of the Cougs in Space club at WSU where our team is working to send a cube satellite to low earth orbit by October 2020 with the help of NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative. I also became a resident advisor in 2018 where I support and mentor about 30 residents. I am also currently applying to internships for next summer
VEX Robotics was a huge part of my life and it helped me to build my communication and leadership skills, not to mention creating life-long friends. Without the skills and experiences, I learned through VEX Robotics, I can’t say I would be where I am today. I hope that everyone appreciates the opportunities and experiences of being a part of VEX Robotics. Even years after our last competition, my friends and teammates from VEX still look back fondly on our time together.
I left VRC in 2016 after competing in Skyrise and NbN. Shortly thereafter I started at Ohio University in Athens, OH where I’ll graduate next May with a degree in Computer Science and a minor in Mathematics. Participating in VRC and other robotics programs was definitely a big part of my interest in STEM and my decision to major in CS; I don’t think I’d be doing what I am right now without such programs.
Around the same time I started volunteering at local events, mostly in West Virginia where I’m from, though I have also helped out with a few events near me in OH. I began volunteering at VRC events as a judge in Starstruck, then moved into refereeing in In the Zone, and since last season I’ve been the head ref for most of the qualifiers in WV, as well as our state championship. I also volunteer at various VIQC, FLL, and FTC events in WV, usually totaling between 20 and 25 events per year. I also spent the summer interning for the organizers of most of the VRC and other robot events in the state, where I got to travel around WV running a series of introductory robotics camps and to help organize our international off-season FLL event.
More recently I’ve been involved with starting up a VEXU team (SQL) at a different university nearby, which is a project I’m very excited about.
So yeah, VEX has had a big impact on me and continues to be a big part of my life - I am definitely lucky to have found such great programs in the first place and now to have been involved for as long as I have…