Personal Profiles – Michelle D, Hridi P, and Maria M

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HRIDI P

Hello! My name is Hridi P and I am a Grade 11 student on FRC 5036, The Robo Devils! I have been on my team for 3 years and it has been an amazing experience! I remember going to my first competition and having my mind blown away. Currently, I am learning to program and create CADs and I have made a lot of progress! Apart from programming and creating CADs, I am organizing the first STEMathon for my team. As a beginner in the process, I have just been winging it, but the support I receive from my mentors and teammates has helped me to make it happen.

 It also is my first year on the Youth Council for First Robotics Canada. It has been so spectacular to work with the incredible staff and the incredible Youth Council members! As a youth council member, I have been able to contribute to the tubular projects we have! From creating the EDI magazine, to encouraging healthy eating with FIRSTFOODIE, as well as raising awareness about adversity and how to combat adversity with DIVERSITYFIRST! Recently with DIVERSITYFIRST, I was able to be a panelist  for FIRST Canada Live with Julia M, Namirah Q, Maria M and Dr.Natalie Wood. This panel has deeply resonated with me because I learned how to stick up against adversity and also find help when I face adversity. I recommend checking it out! 

Outside of FIRST and the Youth Council, I love watching short films on youtube. I find them so creative and artistic. My favourite short films are “ A Silent Child” written by Rachel Shenton and “Tokri” directed by Suresh Eriyat. Both of these films are fantastic. I had tears by the time I finished both of them. Another hobby of mine is reading! I love reading fantasy fiction such as the Percy Jackson series. I also enjoy reading about aliens and conspiracy theories! Lastly, I love cooking. I started teaching myself over quarantine and have learned to make soup, burrito bowls and tacos! 

If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question, what question would you ask?

Do aliens exist? 

If you had the power to shrink any one object and carry it with you in your pocket, which item would it be?

I would shrink my backpack!

If you could meet any fictional character in real life, who would it be? 

Korra from Legend of Korra! I think she is the coolest!

What are your hopes for the FIRST Robotics 2022 season?

Hopeful we will have in person competitions! 

Which is your favourite competition year/season and why?

My favourite season would be Destination Deep Space because it was my first ever frc competition!

 

MICHELLE D

Hello! I’m Michelle D from FRC Team 1305! I love exclamation marks! I am currently a grade 11 IB student at Chippewa Secondary School. I am the business manager on my team, and joined the FIRST program a little over a year ago now for the 2020 season! I always like to joke that I have never been to a competition. One day… 

Outside of school, I enjoy getting creative with knitting and crocheting. There are a lot of cool things you can do with yarn and just one or two sticks! I also dabble in piano, drawing, archery, and anything else that I come across that seems interesting. There’s some advice for you: try something new every day.

In school, I run a Sending Smiles initiative that lets students send out kind anonymous messages to each other around Valentine’s Day. Now we’re expanding to sending letters to residents of senior homes too! 

On the FIRST Canada Youth Council, I love to help out wherever I can. Right now, I am mostly involved in FIRST Foodie, MentalHealthComesFIRST, and a BIG project in the works for Rookie Support (look forward to it!) I have co-hosted multiple FIRST Canada LIVE! Episodes, which is always a blast. If you have seen some of the episodes from February with me in it, you may have met my mannequin, Mr. Handsome, who is always “dripping down” in FIRST merch. I love all the nice, dedicated, and super cool people I have met on the Youth Council! Talk about a group of amazing youth. 

If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question, what question would you ask?

If the universe is constantly expanding then what is it expanding into?

If you had the power to shrink any one object and carry it with you in your pocket, which item would it be?

My glasses case so that I could take off my glasses and have them be easier to carry around with me.

If you could meet any fictional character in real life, who would it be? 

I would meet Holden Caufield from Catcher in the Rye because I used to think he was the coolest person ever when I was in grade 6 or 7… I think I might have misunderstood some of the story when I first read it.

What are your hopes for the FIRST Robotics 2022 season?

I hope that competitions will be back in person if it is safe so I can go to at least one competition before I graduate! 

Which is your favourite competition year/season and why?

I liked Recycle Rush. I was just in grade 5 and it was the first time I saw robots. I was super confused about what was going on with the pool noodles, but I saw everyone dancing and had a lot of fun! I still have the shirt.

 

MARIA M

Hi there! My name is Maria M. I am a grade 11 student on FRC Team 7712, ACCN Umoja. I have been on this team since it was founded in 2018, and have been blessed to have met amazing teammates and mentors through competition. My first year on the team, I was assistant project manager and helped ensure my team met our deadlines, in addition to working on the mechanical subteam. Last year, I became team captain, also working in the awards and writing subteams. These are also my roles on the team this year.

This is my second year on the FIRST Canada Youth Council. On the FIRST Canada Youth Council, I predominantly work to emphasize the importance of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). I have worked and co-founded the #DiversityFIRST initiative to highlight underrepresented minorities and their contributions in the STEM field. Additionally, the #BlackWomenInSTEM initiative to highlight current contributions of Black women STEM. I also co-hosted two panels on the importance of EDI on FIRST Canada Live. 

Outside of robotics, some of my hobbies include public service, debate and student activism! Pre-COVID, I enjoyed volunteering as a weekly reading buddy at the Wandering Spirits School in Toronto, and volunteering at school events, like leading tours as a student ambassador. This year, I am on the Debate and Public Speaking Club Executive. We plan meetings and mentor younger debaters. Recently, I competed and reached the quarter-finals with my team at the 2021 Stanford World Schools Debate tournament. For activism, I am one of the founders of my school’s Diversity Council (DC), a student led club who host monthly meetings to discuss, educate and promote action around EDI. My role as DC Student Life representative is attending student government meetings to ensure grade events are planned in consideration of an EDI lens. Finally, I am the co-head of my school’s Black Student Union which allows a space for mostly Black students to discuss Black culture and events, and organize Black History Month assemblies.

I love being on the Youth Council because it is amazing to work with such an inspiring group of young people who are constantly creating new ideas for the robotics community. I look forward to sharing what we do next!

If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question, what question would you ask?

Why do we dream? I want to know the purpose of dreaming and if they can help predict the future in any way.

If you had the power to shrink any one object and carry it with you in your pocket, which item would it be?

I would shrink my laptop!

If you could meet any fictional character in real life, who would it be? 

Spongebob Squarepants so I can learn the Krabby Patty Secret Formula.

What are your hopes for the FIRST Robotics 2022 season?

I hope we’ll have in-person competitions so my new teammates can experience the energy of a FIRST robotics competition.

Which is your favourite competition year/season and why?

Power Up in 2018! It was my rookie season and I really liked the 8-bit retro gaming theme.