While competitions run because of volunteers, the organization itself is pushed forward with the help of AmeriCorps VISTAs. The organizationm's goal is to help nonprofits with building capacity, which in terms of FIRST means helping to build new and sustainable teams, whether they be FLL, FTC or FRC.
In the past we have spoken to former VISTA Joel Croteau. This year we sat down to talk to our current local VISTA, Rebecca Hannaford about what AmeriCorps is, why they are around, and what she does to help build FIRST programs in the area. She also discusses what it takes to join the program yourself.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLuGHiTz Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the DDR community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bar Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and judging engineering notebooks at competitions. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors.
Daniele is a student at Florida Polytechnic University who is studying Computer Science with a concentration in Cyber Security. In High School, she was introduced to the science and technology world through the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), a robotics foundation where students of varying ages can compete through tasks that their robots perform. With help from mentors she met through FIRST, she became interested in programming and developing. Today, Daniele is a special events host for F5 Live: Refreshing Technology and PLuGHiTz Live Special Events and a co-host for both The New Product Launchpad and FIRST Looks.