FIRST Newsletter - June, 2012 - FLL Volunteers of the Year

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2012 FIRST LEGO League Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Awards

FLL Outstanding Volunteers of the Year

Left to right: Ernie DiCicco, Danny Diaz, Patty Smith


The FIRST LEGO League (FLL) program would not exist without its Volunteers. Every year, thousands of people volunteer their time and efforts to help grow the program and make it run smoothly. This year, three Volunteers were honored for their outstanding dedication to the FLL program:

  • Patricia Smith is the FLL Affiliate Partner in the state of Arizona. She is the K-12 Outreach Coordinator for Arizona State University, Ira Fulton School of Engineering. Through her tireless recruiting and fundraising efforts, FLL teams more than doubled in number, and the number of qualifying tournaments expanded from three to 10. These amazing accomplishments happened in just four short years. In addition to her contribution to FLL in Arizona, Patty has also served as World Festival Core Values Head Judge.

  • Ernie DiCicco is the FLL Operational Partner in the state of New Jersey. He has been involved with FRC for 16 years and with FLL for 10. He believed so strongly in the FLL program, he developed a FIRST program for middle schools throughout New Jersey. It’s a family affair for Ernie, whose wife and two sons have volunteered their time and expertise to FRC and FLL events. “To see kids grow from FLL students to FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) students, go to college, and then on to become Mentors after college is one of the greatest things I like to watch as a Volunteer,” he says.

  • Danny Diaz has been an Executive Steering Committee Member of Central Texas FIRST LEGO League since 2005. He also serves as Head Referee at FLL events in Central Texas, and also helps out at other FLL events around the state. Danny has been an FRC Mentor, as well as an FLL Volunteer Coordinator. In addition to assisting with the programs in Central Texas and at World Festival, the scoring software he developed is used all over. Danny makes yearly updates and provides training and support for this very valuable tool. Danny is well known for his warmth and humor, and is often recognized for his distinctive chicken headgear at FLL events.


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