Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2018 – Changing Lives Thorough Teaching Technology

Name: Sydney Walker
From: Clifton Park, NY
Grade: 12
School: Shenendehowa High School
Votes: 0

Lives Through Teaching Technology

chose to volunteer as a teacher within the FIRST community because my
team completely changed my life, allowing me to overcome social
anxiety and find my passion for programming. My experience led me to
wish to create a mechanism for all schools to maintain teams in their
schools through creating video lessons for them to learn from and
maintaining a 24/7 help desk to aid them in solving problems specific
to their team. I have worked for a minimum of 10 hours each week for
the last year aiding this program to succeed. Through organizing and
approving every lesson, finding teachers to teach each lesson,
planning out what lessons will be live streamed and which will be
recorded, creating and teaching the lessons involving programming,
and responding to the help desk at any hour of the day I created an
international program capable of touching many students. The biggest
obstacle in making this process run smoothly was finding times for
other teachers to record lessons because my school will not allow us
to do it on premises. Many of the teachers have cameras that they can
use at home to record videos, but for several others I was forced to
travel to them to set up cameras and aid them in creating a quality
lesson to be shared with the entire FIRST community. The most
satisfaction I have ever felt was after I received an email to the
help desk explaining to me how much the program I created impacted a
young man in India. His family was struggling to convince his school
to continue funding his FRC team due to lack of mentorship, leaving
him lost without a place to practice his passion. When he needed it
most he saw my post on the FIRST Forum, saving his team through
providing them with remote mentorship from an experienced team,
therefore securing the needed funding from his school. Communicating
with the many teams I have helped through my international outreach
program has taught me that all people are worth the effort, no matter
where they are from or the circumstances of their family. All people
are capable of achieving their goals, some just need more aid to get
there. Forward looking people drive future innovation and creativity
throughout the world, and the program I created is designed to do
just that through training the technological leaders of my
generation, allowing for innovation to prosper throughout the world.
This program is designed to change the lives of all touched by it,
inspiring them to pursue their dream careers despite the fear seen by
many underprivileged children when they consider graduating high
school and continuing their education in college. I know that my
volunteer activities will make a difference for generations to come
because I found a group of students who are as passionate about
aiding those around the world as I am, allowing my program to
continue touching more and more lives each year.

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