Growing up I always viewed robotics as an activity I would never take part in. My brother would go to his competitions and I’d see his team filled with boys and maybe one or two girls and think “Wow, I guess that’s not for me. I’m a history kind of person anyways.” Fast forward seven years and I’m a four-year member of two all-girls FIRST teams, looking back at everything I’ve learned about myself and the world around me just because I decided to do something outside of my comfort zone.
When you are at an all-girls school, you forget a lot of the societal pressures that force people out of things. For this reason, all it took was a ten minute conversation to get me to set aside my previous thoughts about joining robotics and go to my first meeting. Within a year, I had done things 10 year old me wouldn’t believe. I learned to set aside the biases of STEM being for boys that had been ingrained into me, and it gave me the ability to do things I never thought I could. Over my time in robotics, I’ve learned to code, build, CAD, and lead. The past four years have been filled with triumphs, tribulations, and awards like Dean’s List Finalist that I couldn’t have even dreamed of five years ago. When you’re in an all-girls team, there’s constant support and you feel like you can do anything. There’s no exterior issues that make you feel like you have to filter yourself and your abilities to benefit your teammates, and it’s a form of empowerment I am so thankful to have had so much of. It doesn’t really matter where you go after FIRST; the things you’ve learned during your time set you up for success, especially in regards to becoming a stronger woman that isn’t afraid to go out in the world and defy odds.
This blog was written by Michaela M. from FTC #15333 and FRC #5679. If you are interested in blogging for FIRST Ladies, click here to sign up on the schedule!
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