Foshay Finance Senior & AOF Student Board CEO Meets President Obama

Foshay AOF at the White House

Building More than Robots

Jason Mares Ana Fernandez“South Los Angeles, California, has long been associated with gang violence, drugs, and high-school graduation rates of 60 percent or less. More than 80 percent of its community lives at or below the national poverty level, and 64 percent of kids grow up in single-parent households. In these neighborhoods, nearly 100 percent of students qualify for the Federal Lunch Program. And although crime rates and police chases often drive the headlines here, an inner-city robotics team, represented by Ana Hernendez, 18, and Jason Mares, 17, is helping to finally rewrite them. Team 597 took home the Chairman’s Award at the 2015 FIRST Championship in St. Louis—the most prestigious award of the competition, which honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of the FIRST organization. Every team member logs at least 200 hours of community service, adding up to a 6,000-hour team total each year. Team 597 takes into consideration not only their own neighborhood but the global community, as well. They’ve established a partnership with School in a Bottle, a program focused on advancing technology and constructing environmentally-friendly schools, built from recycled bottles, for children in Guatemala. They also lend a hand to FIRST Robotics Competition teams abroad by sharing their time and resources, helping them to overcome season challenges and most importantly, spreading the message of FIRST. FIRST Robotics Competition Team 597, The Wolverines, certainly build more than robots—they build community.”

—Courtesy White House Blog

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