As students come and go through the FIRST program (and sometimes come back) over the years, they all leave with a lasting impression from their experiences. Many bring these impressions on to guide them through their next walks of life. This has been overwhelmingly true for the Gael Force team. Here are quoted testimonials from past members of our team that have since gone on to graduate from high school as official FIRST Alumni.
“Being a member of Gael Force for my four years of high school made a huge impact on my decision to attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute and earn my bachelors of science in mechanical engineering. Getting the hands on experience of designing and building robots for FIRST really helped me develop my love for engineering. When talking to the mentors about deciding on which college I was going to attend, they really helped me choose which field of engineering would best suit my interests. If I wasn’t a member of Gael Force in high school, I wouldn’t have established a love for engineering and developed a growing passion.”
— Paige Tencati, WPI class of 2017, CHS class of 2013
“Team 126 has impacted my life in such an amazing way. Being on the team gave me leadership skills which I applied to my college career and then after. I have since gone on to get my bachelors degree in history with a minor in chemistry and have continued to grad school studying public history. Being on a FIRST team in high school was so valuable to me that I’ve continued to help the team for three years since graduating high school. While I may not have majored in engineering, the program was welcoming to everyone, even the people not interested in engineering. It was truly an experience that has helped me grow as a person.
— Katie McGown, Worcester State class of 2017, CHS class of 2013
“Eleven years in the program has taught me a lot. Starting in lego league, I learned that I had a passion for building and learning through hands-on activities. When I got to high school, I knew that I had to join the robotics program. It was an experience that grew my passion for engineering and was the motivation for me to study engineering in college at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. But even still, being a part of the program is still my passion as I’ve been mentoring for three years. Team 126 is an environment that lets students grow into the adults that the world needs.
— Ryan Howlett, UMASS Dartmouth class of 2019, CHS class of 2015