FIRST Youth Council Graduation Spotlight

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Ishan

Hello! I’m Ishan B. from FRC Team 2706, Merge Robotics. We are a community-based team in Ottawa and you may have heard of our team mascot, Shep the Safety Sheep! On my team, I am a software programmer and have been part of FRC for 3 years.

This has been my second year on the FIRST Canada Youth Council! Over the past two years, both before and during the pandemic, I’ve been able to work on initiatives such as the Youth Summit, FIRST Canada Code of Conduct, Project Green, Mental Health campaigns, Interviews with Industry Leaders and other amazing projects with fellow members from the FIRST Canada Youth Council and the brilliant team of FIRST Canada Staff.

Although we’re finally graduating, I still remember my very first FIRST Robotics competition at Ryerson University in Toronto. Our team had taken a whole coach bus to get to Ryerson, and we stayed in a hotel with views of the CN tower. As soon as I entered the competition arena, everything had the atmosphere of a Formula 1 event. Massive crowds flooded the stadiums, and everyone was cheering all drivers with enthusiasm. The sheer culture, liveliness, and motivation of the students I met at the FRC event was truly thrilling, and I also had a blast exploring Toronto with friends.

Outside of the Youth Council, I have a passion for travel and adventure. In my past journeys, I have travelled across several countries in Europe and have hiked part of the Swiss Alps. Last summer, I also decided to go skydiving at 13,500 feet, one of the most thrilling experiences I’ve had so far (and I’m probably going to do it again!).

What are your plans for the summer before attending university?

Depending on the situation of the pandemic, my family is planning to head to Memphis, Tennessee and also explore several cities in Texas.

Which tv/movie character are you most like?

I would say that I am similar to Tadashi, Hiro’s older brother, from Big Hero 6.

Which FIRST experience was most memorable for you?

My most memorable FIRST experience was attending my first FIRST Robotics competition in Toronto, where I was FIRST introduced to the vibrant culture of FRC. At the massive event in downtown Toronto, I met incredibly talented and fun students from all across Ontario.

What is your favourite memory from being on the Youth Council?

The Youth Summit in 2019 was definitely my favourite memory from the Youth Council! It was incredible to meet all the Youth Council members in person, and we had fun organizing the event with FIRST teams from all across Canada.

 

Emiko

I’m Emiko from FRC Team 7558, Alt-F4 from Bayview Glen school in Toronto! I’ve been involved with FIRST for quite a while; I joined FLL in grade 5 and fell completely in love with the program. I still haven’t quite been able to part from EV3 and continue to referee and mentor FLL teams, today (and realistically, will probably continue to do so forever…). My favourite part about FIRST is the community; competitions bring together such a unique mix of passionate problem-solvers, innovators, and teammates, and the energy is exhilarating, inspiring, and … really smart. FIRST hooks it’s participants, volunteers, and mentors in for life, creating such a supportive environment; once you’re involved, you can’t get enough!

I am so grateful to have been part of this fabulous Youth Council for the last two years; I am constantly in awe of the incredible people I get to work with and am so proud of the initiatives that we have put forward. One of my passions has been our Healthy Eating/FIRSTFoodie campaign; what we eat has such an acute effect on our wellbeing and performance, and I hope that our Youth Council efforts have encouraged FIRST teams to take a second glance at their eating habits. 

Outside of FIRST, I spend much of my time outside exploring or singing show tunes to my dog Miso at the piano (to the rest of my family’s chagrin). I’m also a sucker for board games, rooibos tea (with honey), jigsaw puzzles, yoga, and dance parties. I love finding stories in unusual places; I am perpetually in the middle of a book, and am delighted when others choose to share their life tales with me. 

What are your plans for the summer before attending university?

I’m going to be moving across the country for university, so my main plan for the beginning of summer is to explore and soak up Toronto! The latter part of my summer is going to be all about getting ready; moving, packing, and planning :). I’m so excited!

Which tv/movie character are you most like?

I think that I am a healthy combo of Paris and Lane from Gilmore Girls, although my family thinks that I am a lot like Korra, from Legend of Korra.

Which FIRST experience was most memorable for you?

In 2018, I had the opportunity to be a referee at the FLL Ontario East District Championships; it was a dream come true, and very full circle for me (I had competed at the same event 5 years before)! I even got to referee alongside a lot of older FIRST alumni who had refereed for me back when I competed. 

What is your favourite memory from being on the Youth Council?

My favourite memory of being on the Youth Council was when I got to tour Inertia Engineering last year as part of our Industry Roundtables. That visit really changed my entire mindset on engineering and what a future career in STEM could look like; I am so grateful for that opportunity! 

If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

If I could eat one food for the rest of my life, I think that I would go with zucchini… zucchini pasta has been a quarantine discovery for me that I have become completely obsessed with, and I’ve always loved zucchini bread! (Is that cheating if I’m adding things to the zucchini?)

What element of the periodic table best represents your personality?

I think that carbon best represents my personality; I can make different types of bonds (molecular AND ionic), am full of life, and get along with lots of other different elements :). And if I don’t have enough oxygen, I can get a little bit dangerous.

 

Rohan

Hey everyone, my name is Rohan from FRC team 6390 from North Surrey Secondary all the way in Surrey, British Columbia. This is my fourth year in FIRST and I have taken on various roles in my team. I started out with being a junior programmer for my team. Since then I have taken the role as the Administrative Lead of my team as well as becoming a senior programmer as well. 

This is my first year on the FIRST Canada Youth Council. The past year was absolutely incredible from the new experiences to the amazing people I have connected with. Helping out with different initiatives to co-hosting the FIRST Canada Live show with Karthik and even helping create a manual for FRC teams has been the experience of a lifetime. 

Outside of FIRST, I love to cultivate my interests in Technology and Entrepreneurship. I also love to get outside, though that has been a bit hard to do lately. My favourite sports are Soccer and Badminton. I am also really deep into philosophy and debating, healthy discussions are a favourite of mine!

What are your plans for the summer before attending university?

This summer, I am planning to help out the FIRST Canada interns from a summer opportunity and study ahead to prepare for the start of my upcoming university transition.

Which tv/movie character are you most like?

I’ve been told by my friends that I resemble Phineas the most. Whether that means I have a triangular-shaped head or that I am a good inventor, I truly do not know 🙂

Which FIRST experience was most memorable for you?

The FIRST experience that was most memorable for me was the 2018 Power Up Season where my team (FRC team 6390) competed at the Canadian Pacific Regional competition. It was my first FIRST event ever! I was blown away by how students from different regions and with varying interests resonated with the one goal of FIRST.

What is your favourite memory from being on the Youth Council?

My favourite memory from the Youth Council was presenting the initiatives we had worked on in the FIRST Canada Live show. It was my first experience on the show and I have since co-hosted it as well! I remember having a great time speaking with Karthik and presenting with the other members on the Youth Council.

If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

If I could eat one food for the rest of my life, it would probably be Poké. Poké is a fusion of greens, seafood, rice, and various other goodies that collaborate with each other to produce a divine flavour. Additionally, with ingredients from various parts of the food pyramid could sustain my body with the nutrients it needs.

 

Victoria

I’m Victoria from Celt-X 5406, an FRC team hailing from Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School in Hamilton, ON. I’ve been a part of Celt-X for four years — during that time I have mostly stuck to programming, but at the end of my second year, I started taking up media as well. Speaking of media, you may know me better as frcdoodles, as I also make FRC artwork. 

I’m fortunate to have made many incredible memories during my time in FIRST (so far!). Of course, going to Einstein immediately comes to mind, but also attending the Indiana Robotics Invitational twice, Rah Cha Cha Ruckus in 2017 (my first competition!) and many more. I love reminiscing about the small things too, like going to Denny’s after a competition while the whole team is running on, like, two and a half hours of sleep.

Joining the Youth Council was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I was hesitant at first because I wasn’t sure how I could contribute, but so far I’ve worked on FIRSTFoodie, Mental Health, Rookie Support, and Hour of Code. I’m so thankful for the support from some truly talented peers and staff — none of this would get done without them.

Outside of FIRST, with the little spare time I have left (haha), I like to draw, play violin semi-decently, and hang out with my guinea pig. Sometimes I also tinker around with a microcontroller. Next year, I’m heading off to the University of Waterloo to study Computer Engineering.

What are your plans for the summer before attending university?

Enjoying my last summer vacation ever. Hopefully, if the pandemic allows, seeing all of my friends in Hamilton before we all move away to university.

Which tv/movie character are you most like?

Alice from Alice in Wonderland (the animated Disney film). I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it.

Which FIRST experience was most memorable for you?

I have had so many incredible experiences in FIRST that it’s hard to pick just one. Although, almost winning the Detroit World Championships in 2019 is pretty high up there. The entirety of Ford Field was cheering for Team Canada — the atmosphere and energy were unreal.

What is your favourite memory from being on the Youth Council?

My favourite memory is when all of the students hopped on a zoom call to record the year-end video, but we got sidetracked so many times that it just ended up being one huge social night. 

If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Soup. You can literally put ANYTHING in soup. Melted ice cream and cereal are also soups by the way, I don’t make the rules.

What element of the periodic table best represents your personality?

Silver is pretty but also tends to tarnish when exposed to air. I think this pretty much describes an ambivert (me). It also conducts electricity pretty well and is used in computer chips.

 

Emily

Hi, my name is Emily from FRC team 2056 and Orchard Park Secondary School. On my team, I do design, machining, wiring and assembly. During competitions, I’m the Pit Chief/Safety Captain where I talk to judges about the robot and show them how it works. This is my 4th year on my robotics team and this is my 2nd year on the Youth Council. One of the projects I’m very invested in is Project Green. To learn more about Project Green check out the Subteam highlight for this month! I’m also a huge advocate for Women in STEM!

FIRST has given really cool opportunities such as helping with the FIRST Canada LIVE! Show. On this show, I have not only had the opportunity to co-host but I’ve also been behind the scenes producing as a Youth Council Producer on a good portion of the shows in season 2.

Outside of FIRST, I love plants! My family owns a garden centre that I work at which probably helps but I think plants are just really cool!! On top of that my family just started keeping bees this year so that’ll be a fun experience. 

Finally, next year I’ll be attending McMaster University for Engineering!! 

What are your plans for the summer before attending university?

Before I attend university I’m planning on making some money by working full-time at a Mini Golf place.

Which tv/movie character are you most like?

I feel I’m most like Darcy from Thor, Thor: The Dark World, and Wandavision. She’s super techy, really smart and won’t let anyone tell her what to do. I feel like I really relate to Darcy and she’s like one of my favourite Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters. (also Emiko said she’s the character I’m most like)

Which FIRST experience was most memorable for you?

My most memorable experience from FIRST is during FIRST Championships 2019 when Karthik came over to my pit with FIRSTtv and started asking me questions about our robot!. I was crazy nervous but it was a lot of fun.

What is your favourite memory from being on the Youth Council?

My favourite memory from the Youth Council is the 2019 Youth Summit. During the summit, we were able to meet the members of the youth council that we had never seen in person before and run a fun event together. 

Narmiah

Narmirah will be going to Harvard this coming fall. Her Youth Council Spotlight can be found here.