A Work of
Art in Progress
For most students,
FIRST is a way to feed their passion
for science and technology or help build a college
admissions resume. For Suki Berry, a budding artist
and senior at San Dieguito Academy High School in
Encinitas, CA, FIRST is nothing short of a lifeline.
Since middle school, her home life and academic
performance have been unstable as a result of
divorced parents still living together due to financial
hardship. Suki found the structure, focus, and
direction she needed by joining FIRST Robotics
Competition (FRC) Team 2102, “Team Paradox.”
“When I joined the team, I felt like I
was part of a shared goal. It made
me feel important and also safe,”
says Berry, living temporarily with
a family she met through FIRST.
Although eager to learn to
weld, the team needed Suki’s
skills in the arts even more, to
design merchandise and create
logos. The team even modified
the STEM acronym to “STEAM,”
adding an “A” for art.
Berry melds the creative
side of things — painting, design,
and sculpture — with endeavors
such as project management and
public relations. She is now one
of the presidents of the team’s
marketing arm — designing, sewing,
and printing team merchandise, as
well as creating promotional videos.
I’ve discovered an organization with
teachers, Mentors, and parent Volunteers who not only
support me, but also challenge me to exceed my own
expectations; to reach beyond what I thought possible,”
says Berry.
“I honestly don’t know what my current situation
would be if I hadn’t connected with all these
wonderful friends.”
Whose life
will you
help change?
Attend College
Researched* and documented facts about
Major and pursue careers in
science or engineering
participants are significantly more likely to... In College, they are many times more likely to...
Volunteer in their
Mentor other
Become outstanding
Secure internships
Pursue careers in
participants are more than twice as likely
and female participants are four times as likely to study
science and engineering
*Source: Brandeis University “More Than Robots” Evaluation, 2005
As of publication, Berry is majoring in Graphic Communications
at Palomar College, San Marcos, CA.
Listen to Suki’s full story
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