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TWillingham

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LEARNING IS FOR EVERYONE INC
September 2, 2010

As vice president of Learning is for Everyone for the last two years, my role has been an active and enjoyable one, but not always a deeply personal one. When we rose to the challenge of creating a community based high school level robotics team in an area of Tampa Bay lacking the hands on experiences FIRST offers, that changed. Administering the FIRST program through Learning is for Everyone's FTC Team Duct Tape has given us an unparalleled opportunity to reach youth in a three county area, engage in our community with local area businesses and organizations, and to introduce this dynamic robotics and engineering program to hundreds of youth in the area, and to reach even more with our information and education-rich website. In just two seasons: •We’ve introduced seven students, from four different public schools, two private schools and homeschools, to FIRST robotics for the very first time. •Four of them went to the FIRST World Championship in their very first season with us - or rather, they helped take us there! •All our new applicants this season are also new to FIRST. •We’re heading into the new season with all of last season’s non-graduating members, now TDT veterans. •All of our graduated members are now in college, at least two in engineering programs. •One of our students interned in CA over the summer, at a robotics company called Anybots. •We’ve provided mini-grants to two other area FIRST community teams, to help support the experiences of a dozen other children in this program. The results of participation in FIRST continue to impress me, and the excitement of the students involved in the program continues to warm and move me. Students participating in FIRST programs are more likely to complete high school and to go on to major in tech and science fields in college. They get first-hand experience and guidance from professional mentors. They learn invaluable teamwork and real-time problem solving skills, in an engaging environment. I'm proud of Learning is for Everyone for actively supporting FIRST robotics in the Tampa Bay area, and hope that we're able to expand our support to other areas in coming years.

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The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the academic growth and personal achievements of the students I've worked with in this program, and the commensurate success of our community based robotics team, as well as the growth of FIRST robotics interest in the area due to our camp programs.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

expand our program offerings to include more exciting hands-on learning opportunities like FIRST.

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

it's flexibility and willingness to consider a variety of programs and ideas.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

kind, open minded, generous and caring.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

bring lifelong learning innovation to the whole state!

Ways to make it better...

- it's hard to have a better experience - but we could probably do more if we had a was a bigger, more organized infrastructure. Or perhaps not - maybe our size is our greatest asset.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

limited funds.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I think Learning is for Everyone can grow in any number of ways. What we can bring to communities in the way of cost effective, intellectually enriching and lifelong learning inspiring opportunities is endless!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

MY ROLE:
Board Member & Coach FIRST Tech Challenge Team Duct Tape.