Personal Profiles – Zoe J, Shorya B, Alexandra M, Sreela C, Vanshika B

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Zoe

Hi! My name is Zoe, I am currently in Grade 11, and I am a member of FRC team 771, SWAT!! This is my 6th year being part of a FIRST team. I first joined the program in Grade 6 when I joined my school’s FLL team. When I joined SWAT I had my heart set on being on drive team and part of the mechanical and design subteam. When the opportunity came to try out for Chairman’s (which was beside drive team on the white board) and I had no idea what it was, I decided to sign up. Since then I have been a Chairman’s presenter on my team and involved in organising and running outreach. Last summer I applied to be a part of the FIRST Canada Youth Council, since joining I have been able to work with people from teams across Canada on initiatives such as Mental Health Comes FIRST and the Being FIRST Magazine. Being a part of this Council is an amazing experience and I definitely encourage everyone who is interested to apply next summer!!

Outside of FIRST, I spend most of my free time reading. Some of my favourite series are 6 of Crows by Leigh Bardugo and Scythe by Neal Shusterman. Right now I am reading the 3rd book of The Naturals series by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. At my school, I’m part of several councils and clubs where I help start and run initiatives to help students stay connected during the pandemic and raise money for charity. I’m super excited for the upcoming competition season and to participate in a co-op placement this spring!

What is your favourite part of the Rapid React game?

I like how the human player can try and score!

What Olympic sport was your favourite sport to watch during Beijing 2022?

I really enjoy watching figure skating and snowboarding!

If you could visit one place in the world, where would you go and why?

There are so many places I want to travel to after covid/high school but one that I really want to visit is Santorini and Athens in Greece. Santorini is a beautiful city that seems like the perfect place to visit with friends and Athens is where my Mom and Aunt grew up. I think it would be a really cool place to visit and hopefully I can go after the pandemic!

What is your advice for members of teams who won’t be able to compete this year?

If your team isn’t able to compete this year it is still super important to have meetings to train younger members on the team (if safe/possible). If you can’t meet in person, even running virtual CADing or programming workshops will be super beneficial to the team next year as most people who will be in grade 12 next year have never been to a real competition.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself heading into the pandemic?

I would have told myself to step further outside of my comfort zone before the pandemic started and probably to travel more.

 

Shorya

Hey everyone! I’m Shorya, a grade 11 student in Brampton, Ontario, where I’m a member of the 4939, AllSpark9 FRC Robotics team. I first joined FIRST in grade 7, when I was a part of my middle school’s FLL (FIRST Lego League). I have been a part of my FRC team since I was in grade 9, but due to some unforeseen circumstances I have actually never been to a FIRST competition. This year will be my first time as I will be volunteering at a couple of events! In grade 10 I worked on multiple tasks on the team, working on Chairmans, the Innovation Challenge, where we were Semi-Finalists, and Outreach. I am still continuing to work on a few of our team’s initiatives like Sparkin’ STEM and teaching an integrated curriculum of science and robotics to kids at ErinoakKids. I am also very fortunate to be on the FIRST Canada Youth Council, where I work alongside incredible people who strive to make a change. In the Youth Council I work on a few initiatives like the EDI Magazine, which you are currently reading, Diversity FIRST, Project Green, and a few others. 

Outside of FIRST, I love hanging out with family and friends. I am a very big fan of movies and tv shows (big big Marvel fan)! Name it and I’ve probably seen it. I love playing sports, mainly badminton and soccer. Just about two years ago, I started reading again for fun and I haven’t stopped since. I love all kinds of music, I even play the violin. I’m super excited for this season and possibly getting to meet some of you! 

What is your favourite part of the Rapid React game?

My favourite part of this year’s game is definitely the Hanger. I am so excited to see what mechanisms teams come up with! 

What Olympic sport was your favourite sport to watch during Beijing 2022?

I would definitely choose either snowboarding or figure skating.

If you could visit one place in the world, where would you go and why?

If I could visit one place in the world, I would say Greece. Greece is a beautiful place with so much history behind it. It has always been on my bucket list and I hope to cross it off one day. 

What is your advice for members of teams who won’t be able to compete this year?

My team is not competing this year as well, so I completely understand how those who are not competing this year are feeling. However, my advice to you all is don’t let that stop you and your team from doing great things. You can all still volunteer at competitions, which is a great way to see what other teams are doing and to still immerse yourself in the FIRST community. You can also continue working on your outreach initiatives! 

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself heading into the pandemic?

Enjoy the little things! Staying locked up in your home may not seem like the ideal thing, but this is your chance to do something you’ve maybe always wanted to try. Take this time to your advantage! 

 

Alexandra

Hi there! I’m Alexandra, a grade 11 student from Toronto, Ontario. I am the team lead of 18846 Brebotics FTC team and I help out with everything from building/programming to outreach. I joined FTC in grade 10 and was a Dean’s List Finalist that same year. This year I continue to lead Brebotics as well as mentor 3-4 teams from St. Bonaventure Catholic School. Brebotic’s STEAM Day initiative last year got elementary schools hooked on FTC and has allowed the FTC community to grow in TCDSB elementary and middle schools. This is my first year on the FIRST Canada Youth Council and my second year as a Dean’s List Finalist. I partake in various initiatives on the Youth Council including but not limited to MentalHealthComesFIRST, FundaySunday and TikTok. My favourite part of being on the Youth Council is increasing the awareness of FIRST through our various social media outlets. 

When I’m not doing anything robotics or school-related, I am most likely playing volleyball. I am on a top 10 OVA 17U indoor volleyball team and I am on the Ontario Provincial Beach Volleyball Team as well. Alongside competitive volleyball, I play for my school team as well. When I am not playing volleyball or working out, I love to spend time outdoors with my family and friends,  read books or play card and board games. 

What is your favourite part of the Rapid React game?

My favourite part of the Rapid React game is the human players being able to shoot baskets during the autonomous period!

What Olympic sport was your favourite sport to watch during Beijing 2022?

Snowboard cross and figure skating!

If you could visit one place in the world, where would you go and why?

I would go to Italy! I have never been there and I would love to meet some of my Italian relatives!

What is your advice for members of teams who won’t be able to compete this year?

This is the perfect opportunity to get to know your teammates better, partake in various outreach initiatives, volunteer at events and plan for next season. Take advantage of it!

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself heading into the pandemic?

“The pandemic will be a great opportunity to connect and spend time with your family, but don’t forget about your friends either! You’ll lose some and you’ll gain some but take the opportunity to focus and build on yourself and what makes you happy.” 🙂

Sreela

Hi everyone! My name is Sreela and I’m a grade 12 student from Toronto, Ontario. I’m currently the captain of FRC 6135, Arctos, and was an FRC Dean’s List Finalist during the 2021 season. I have been a part of FIRST since grade 5 and have enjoyed every single moment since! Even though it’s my first year on the Youth Council, I am lucky to be a part of multiple interesting initiatives, including, TikTok and our EDI magazine. I’ve also had the pleasure of representing FIRST Canada at the Synnex Gala, along with a few of my fellow youth council members. 

Outside of FIRST I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, with whom I discover hidden gems, from restaurants to bookstores, all over Toronto. When I’m not spending time with my loved ones, I enjoy reading, sewing, and bullet journalling.

What is your favourite part of the Rapid React game?

My favourite part of the 2022 game is the Hangar Zone.

What Olympic sport was your favourite sport to watch during Beijing 2022?

Figure skating and Ski jumping!

If you could visit one place in the world, where would you go and why?

I’d go to Greece. The landscape there, both natural and manmade, seems so beautiful and I would love to be able to witness this beauty in person! 

What is your advice for members of teams who won’t be able to compete this year?

Volunteer! Volunteering is one of my most favourite things to do during the season. It’s a great way to meet others in FIRST and see robots in action. If you aren’t able to attend competitions in person, definitely watch them online at twitch.tv/FIRSTCanada!

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself heading into the pandemic?

“Don’t be afraid to reach out! The pandemic is a tough time for all of us. Sharing your feelings with your loved ones is a great way to process your emotions and make you feel less isolated. “

Vanshika

What is your favourite part of the Rapid React game?

The rungs because it’s challenging and super cool way to get teams to find unique ways to design their robot. 

What Olympic sport was your favourite sport to watch during Beijing 2022?

Although I didn’t watch any sports for the Winter Olympics, I do love watching ice skating or snowboarding because I love doing them myself. 

If you could visit one place in the world, where would you go and why?

Bora Bora or Maldives because they are very remote and look beautiful. I love travelling and beaches.

What is your advice for members of teams who won’t be able to compete this year?

Watch the streams on FIRST Canada or twitch itself. Even though you can’t compete you can always feel the energy in the room just by watching. But also volunteer!! Even if you can’t compete, volunteering is the best way to get as close as you can to robots!!

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself heading into the pandemic?

Everything happens for a reason. During this time I learned more about myself and who I am as a person. I go to grow and learn new things that I wouldn’t have if we still lived the same lives.