It is March 30, 2015 and my throat hurts. My best friend, Isabel Marquez, and I made it our goal to lose our voices from cheering so much by the end of the Ventura Regional. We may not have lost our voices, but my soar throat reminds me of the best weekend I've had yet. We started out with a trip to San Buena Ventura Beach and ended in having made it to semifinals, being the recipients of the Creativity Award for the second time this year, and winning the most prestigious award within FIRST.
We held our "Phoenix" and "Eagles!" signs high from day 1 of Ventura, not knowing how much our efforts would pay off. We ranked 6th by the end of qualifications matches and became the 4th seeded alliance captain and were joined by Team 1458 Red Tie Robotics and Team 4 Element. Our matches were so close that I was literally jumping up and down in anticipation and couldn't take my eyes off the field. We almost made it to the finals and that alone is an extraordinary feeling.
As a Chairman's presenter and our Public Outreach Sub-team Leader, I know how much work went into our Chairman's submission. Us Chairman's presenters practiced, practiced, practiced, and a multitude of students worked hard to portray our message in the rest of the submission, from essays to video. When we stepped into the room we were greeted by the smiles of two women in blue polos. Both our presentation and question and answer period went smoothly, but I did not expect to actually win. When we did, though, I was overwhelmed with pride. In fact, I cried even before our team was called because of all the hints that so obviously pointed to us as the winners, and sobbed when our video played on the large screen.
Winning the Chairman's award for two consecutive years recognizes our success in promoting STEM and making an impact. As our presentation says "we strive to leave a lasting legacy." We have done and are continuing to do just that.