Personal Profiles- Jordan C, Julia M & Namirah Q

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JORDAN C.

Hi! My name is Jordan. Currently, I am a Grade 11 student at H. B. Beal Secondary School in London Ontario, and a team captain for FRC 5024 Raider Robotics. As a third-year FRC participant, I am also very excited to be a member of the 2020/2021 FIRST Canada Youth Council! As well as serving in the captain’s role for 5024, I am also focusing my participation on the Build and Strategy subteams. Previously, I was also a member of the Imagery and Chairman’s subteams, where I still like to dip my toes on occasion along with Sponsorship and Outreach. As a member of the FIRST Canada Youth Council, some of the things I’ve been involved in are spearheading and leading the production of the magazine you’re reading right now, working with our subteam FIRST Foodie which creates content like #FIRSTFoodieFridays and Values In Practice, as well as participating in other events and initiatives. I’m looking forward to working on more projects and events this year and will be co-hosting “FIRST Canada LIVE!” episodes shortly! 

To get to know me a little better, I thought that it would be nice to tell you about some of the things I like to do outside of FIRST as well. One thing that I’ve always been passionate about is the arts! Musical theatre has always been a big part of my life and I have performed and/or trained with several different companies including Drayton Entertainment, The Stratford Festival, Fridge Door Live Theatre Company, and the London Community Players. Drawing upon my vocal training, I was also thrilled to place 1st in my category in the 2018 Ontario Division NATS Vocal Showcase! Having played with a few different string orchestras in the past, I am now focussing my energy on playing double bass with my school’s concert band. Beyond the arts, I believe strongly in honouring, exercising, and amplifying student voice. As a result, I am also a Student Senator with the TVDSB Student Advisory Committee, an active member of the Stratford Festival Student Advisory Committee, and the Grade 11 representative on my school’s student council. To give back to my school and the community, I volunteer at various local functions, have coordinated a youth shelter food drive, and work as a youth helpline peer-support volunteer. 

What is your favourite movie(s)?

I’m a really big movie junkie so I’ll probably find something enjoyable about every movie (except for Frozen). I’m a really huge fan of the studio A24 Films! Some of my favourite movies produced by them would be Hereditary, Moonlight, The Florida Project, Midsommar, and The Farewell. Some others not produced by A24 would include Parasite, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Marriage Story, Princess Mononoke, and Ponyo.

What is your favourite song/album(s)?

There is no doubt in my mind that Blonde by Frank Ocean is my favourite album of all time BY FAR! Some other albums that I really love include Oncle Jazz by Men I Trust, Ctrl by SZA, “Awaken, My Love” by Childish Gambino, MAGDALENE by FKA twigs, Melodrama by Lorde, Be the Cowboy by Mitski, Immunity by Clairo, and IGOR by Tyler, The Creator. The song I just have to include is Mayonaka no Door / Stay With Me by Miki Matsubara.

What is your go-to snack/meal?

My go-to snack would 100% be a can of Arizona. I feel as if it’s ingrained into the culture at my school to run over to the corner store and buy a can of Arizona for $1.29. My go-to flavours are either the Peach Iced Tea or the Green Tea!

What is your favourite competition break song?

I gotta admit that I’ve got a soft spot for Cotton Eye Joe… (as much as it pains me… hehe).

What is your favourite robot and why? (from any team, any season)

Well, I’ve obviously gotta say 5024 Raider Robotics 2020 Infinite Recharge robot “Darth Raider” is my favourite! But, one robot that I distinctly remember watching when I first got into FRC, was the 971 Spartan Robotics 2016 Stronghold robot. I was just in awe (and still am!) at how cool it was and how smart the design was as well! 

JULIA M.

Hi, My name is Julia M I am a Grade 11 student on FRC Team 7456, the Aurobots. Our team is very new to FRC as we were founded only 3 years ago. I have been a member of the team from the very first year and this year I have the honour of being the co-president. Since our team is completely student-led, my responsibilities include but are not limited too; organizing most of the team meetings, creating relationships with our sponsors, dealing with any budget tasks, working with and managing all the different departments, maintaining a team environment and solving any problem that we come across. One of my favourite tasks as co-president is to encourage our team to advocate for equity, diversity and inclusion within our community. I have accomplished this by organizing and attending many different outreach events to encourage girls to get involved in STEM, creating an EDI Team Lead, starting to do Land Acknowledgements at each meeting and keeping our team free of charge to anyone who wants to join. I first got involved with FIRST in 2016, when I joined a FIRST LEGO League Challenge team. To share my love for the FIRST LEGO League Challenge, I now mentor a French FIRST LEGO League Challenge team, Équipe Francobotique. Pre-Covid 19 I loved to volunteer within my school and community. Some of my fondest volunteering memories were being the co-president of Students for Global Issues at my school, volunteering at STEM Minds Aurora, volunteering at Why Code Aurora Summer Camp, being a camp counsellor at a local barn, running a holiday toy drive, being a peer mentor and being a part of our school’s yearbook committee. 

This is my first year on FIRST Canada’s Youth Council and I love it! I am already involved with several initiatives, including the Mental Health Mondays and FIRST Foodie Friday campaigns as well as helping to start up this magazine. I have also spoken at different conferences as well as co-hosting “FIRST Canada Live”. My favourite part of the Youth Council is that I’ve gotten to meet so many amazing people and make so many new friends! I find what we are doing to be so important and very impactful. I am so thankful for all the opportunities I have been given. FIRST has taught me that I am capable of accomplishing anything when I put my mind to it. Some of my goals in life are to travel the world, get an engineering degree, continue to be an advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and to have my photography published. 

Some facts about me;

What is your favourite movie(s)?

I love the Jurassic Park movies! 

What is your favourite song/album(s)?

At the moment it’s “Wicked Ones” by Dorothy. However, my favourite song changes very often as my music taste develops. 

What is your go-to snack/meal?

This also changes every very often but currently, it’s grilled cheese. 

What is your favourite competition break song?

Definitely “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond. Hearing the whole crowd singing the lyrics creates such a great vibe at competitions. 

What is your favourite robot and why? 

I would say my favourite robot is Wall-E just because he is so cute and thoughtful.

NAMIRAH Q.

When I moved to Kingston from Toronto in 2018, I joined a FIRST robotics team. I distinctly remember turning a rusty door handle to enter an ominous warehouse situated in an industrial quarter of Kingston and being very much intimidated by the male-dominated nature of the field in addition to my lack of experience with wood and metalworking. Today, I am the team’s lead plasma cutter operator, and can effectively solder, wire, and use a milling machine more than 15 times my weight to produce the most intricate components of our robots. I am also a lot more confident in myself and my abilities as a student advocate and aspiring leader in STEM – and I owe much of that to FIRST Robotics Canada.

I am Namirah Q – a café connoisseur, a language enthusiast, and a second-year member of the FIRST Robotics Canada Youth Council. I applied to the Council in August of 2019 on somewhat of a whim – I did not think I could make it in as a rookie in the program. I was surprised and grateful when I heard I would have a spot on the Council and find myself, more than a year later, only gaining an appreciation for FIRST Canada with every initiative we develop as a team. One of my first projects on the Council was to aid in leading a workshop at our inaugural Youth Summit that considered challenging scenarios surrounding racism, ableism, homophobia, and transphobia, and other forms of discrimination. That’s right. CANFIRST taught me about equity, diversity, and inclusion before it entered just about every other part of my life from my role as a student trustee for my school board to an executive of a national COVID-19 response organization. Following the summit, I collaborated with the Council in spearheading several projects to support and inspire other youth in FIRST. These interviews, campaigns, summer camps and virtual events encompassed a variety of topics including mental health, diversity, environmental awareness, healthy eating, positivity, and gender inclusivity. My involvement with EDI within the FIRST Canada Youth Council motivated me to apply for the FIRST Headquarters’ International Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Council, to which I was appointed in February of 2020. In both positions, as well as my extracurriculars in and out of school, I work to make a difference by advocating for youth wellbeing and success. I am forever indebted to FIRST for teaching me that I, once a timid Grade 10 student lost in a new town and finding myself on a robotics team, could be that strong advocate for others. Stepping into that warehouse was a risk but in retrospect one that has been instrumental in shaping my desire to be a leader in STEM and my greater community.

What is your favourite movie(s)?

The Silence of the Lambs… everything from the soundtrack to the casting of this film is brilliant and I love psychological horror.

What is your favourite song/album(s)?

Sunflower – Rex Orange County. Or anything by ROC!

What is your go-to snack/meal?

I eat a lot of chocolate.

What is your favourite competition break song?

Shazam’d this at my first and last competition of the 2020 season: Space Age Love Song by A Flock of Seagulls. Listen to that lead guitar.

What is your favourite robot and why? (from any team, any season)

Fred was the first robot that my team (Machine Mavericks #7480) ever built. Whenever his motors broke down, it smelled like burnt pistachios (awful stench – but reminiscent of our rookie season).