I have applied for a Provisional Utility Patent Application #62751939, Smart IoT Safety Child Seat, which connects to a mobile application and uses sensors to ensure the safety of a child accidentally left in a hot car. I achieved 1st place in Florida’s FBLA Coding and Programming state-wide competition. I am the lead SharePoint Developer and Linux Administrator for my school’s Network Administrator program, where we complete Software related projects for Pinellas County. I am also president of my school’s Key Club. This title means that I organize events for our 112 Key Club members with local elementary school- festivals, homeless kitchens, and Adopt-A-Block projects. I like to think of myself as sociable, accomplished and optimistic for the future. I have, however, changed in many ways over the last few years.
Middle school me was very focused on academics and programming. At 12 years of age, I studied hard and became one of the youngest people in the world to receive the Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 7 Programmer certification. I was elated and felt on top of the world, achieving such a difficult certification. I tried and succeeded at achieving perfect on standardized tests. My academic focus left me with just a few friends, and my social life was most certainly lacking in comparison to my peers.
My lack of sociability led me to join many clubs. Beginning in 8th grade, I joined the Chinese club; I ended up being the Master of Ceremonies (MC) of a huge Chinese festival for our entire school. I had to present and speak in Chinese to more than 300 people. In 9th grade, I joined the swim team and robotics team. I was able to stay in shape and meet new people, while still channeling my inner nerd.
In high school, our robotics team was full of seniors, and I was the only freshman. In Sophomore year, I became the team leader, as I was the only one with any experience in competition. I recruited a group of friends and created a sophomore team, named Aluminati. Most of us were relatively new to the robotics scene. Nevertheless, we ended up receiving first place at our regional Vex Starstruck Competition, meaning our team could advance onto the State Championship! At the State Championship, we realized that we had a big problem. Eighty Percent of the robots were perfect replicas of one another. A cookie cutter solution employed by full-time school curriculum. We were competing with our unique –student-created- design, built after school in my garage, on a shoe-string budget. We did well. However, we learned a lot about the process required to be nationally competitive.
This failure after winning regionals has helped to teach me humility. Although we had built an amazing robot, with linear slides and stellar autonomous programming, the other teams had dedicated engineering mentors, financial backing and courses at their school dedicated to building a robot for competition. Although winning is awesome, I believe having humility and kindness is more important. Having respect for others without being rude or thinking of yourself as superior to someone else is critical to success, and to being an admirable person. I found this to be the foundation of both the First Technology Challenge and Vex Robotics Competition competitive teams. I met a lot of great people and learned much more than just programming and robotics.