Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Madtown Throwdown Robotics Tournament

November 15, 2011

Nicholas attended his first robotics tournament as a high school student not long ago. He has now officially graduated from Lego robots to the real deal. (Doesn't 'real' robots seem a bit like an oxymoron?) Anyway, Madera was hosting the event (thus, "Madtown"), and Nicholas volunteered not only to spend all day Saturday at the event, but also most of Friday as well for the set-up of the venue. Since the kids were out of school for Veteran's Day, Nicholas could have opted to stay home on Friday, sleep in, and play video games. Instead, this program has been such a positive and appealing activity that he gave that up to spend two extra days at school. Granted, it wasn't his school, but it was school, nonetheless.
Nicholas came home both days grinning from ear to ear. Although he is a freshman, and one of the low men on the totem pole, so to speak, he is never made to feel superfluous or in the way. The seniors and juniors on this team are incredibly welcoming. They have created an environment that is truly inclusive and educational for the new kids coming into the program. They recognize the strengths of the younger kids, and foster those strengths and channel them into the specialized fields within the organization that they are best suit to. Nicholas was able to catch a ride with a handful of older team members on the day of the event, and even went out to socialize with the whole group after the tournament was over on Saturday. This is really what mentorship and leadership are all about, and I am so thankful such a great group of kids is leading the way for Nicholas and all of the other freshman kids who have found their 'home' on campus with this organization.

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