The impact of FIRST is truly more than robots. It goes far beyond a STEM education and it provides all of its participants with a tremendous amount of opportunities and skills that transform kids into amazingly driven and inspiring young adults. This transformation is often referred to as a pipeline, and it serves as a path for student participants from the FIRST program to pursuing STEM degrees and later STEM careers. However, like any pipeline it has leaks, and in particular, girls are leaving the program. The real issue is that girls are leaving FIRST, and STEM, not because it is no longer their passion, but because they have no female leaders to inspire them to have passion. The passion students have for FIRST, and STEM, is what makes FIRST the unique program that it is and without passion the program loses impact.
In short, girls need girls. Girls need girls to be the leaders that inspire them to become leaders themselves and stop the leaks in the pipe. Only girls can become role models for other girls in FIRST and inspire them to become the passionate leaders the FIRST program really needs to retain its female students and stop the leaks. Through passionate leadership we can stop the leaks in the pipe and inspire girls to be future leaders for FIRST and STEM.
So, as the 2014 to 2015 FIRST season comes to a close new opportunities for leadership arise with the incoming season. It is now our task, as girls, to become the passionate leaders that will stop the leaks in the pipe and inspire other girls to become new leaders. Now, stepping up and becoming a leader will never be easy as it seems, but, it is an act that will have a tremendous impact on the FIRST community. So, be a passionate leader in your community. Leadership doesn't need a fancy title, and as a passionate and inspiring girl you will become a leader by default and help stop the leaks in the pipe.
My challenge to girls in FIRST is to become pipe stoppers, passionate leaders, and be the role models that we need to inspire other girls to become pipe stoppers, leaders, as well.
This blog was written by Maggie Rosner of FRC Team 2557. If you are interested in blogging for FIRST Ladies, sign up on the schedule.
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