MEDIA RELEASE via Windsor-Essex FIRST
WINDSOR, ON., June 21, 2023 – Windsor-Essex FIRST Robotics (WEFR), a local organization promoting and delivering FIRST Robotics Canada programming in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent, is proud to announce the recipients of its annual $1000 bursaries. These bursaries have been established and generously provided by WEFR to support local high school graduates in their pursuit of higher education.
In spite of the ongoing obstacles presented by the pandemic recovery, these five graduating students have demonstrated remarkable resilience and commitment, distinguishing themselves among their peers. Larry Koscielski, Vice President of Process and Technology Development at CenterLine and Chair of Windsor-Essex FIRST Robotics, expressed his admiration, stating, “I was astounded by the determination shown by our local teams this year, with many of them returning to in-person competitions after years of virtual events. These five graduating students truly stood out as the best of the best. We extend our well wishes as they continue their studies, confident that FIRST has equipped them for their journey ahead.”
The annual bursaries are named in honour of James Broom and Spencer James, who were students and mentors of FIRST Robotics teams at Maranatha Christian Academy and Belle River High School, respectively. Both James and Spencer inspired those around them, and these bursaries serve as a tribute to their lasting legacy, as noted by Koscielski.
The following students, representing their respective high schools, have been awarded bursaries to support their studies at the indicated post-secondary institutions:
Vincent Massey Secondary School (Massey Mustangs Team 4903), McMaster University – Engineering with (Co-op)
St. Thomas of Villanova Catholic High School (Villanova WiredCats Team 5885), Laurentian University – Architectural Studies
Vincent Massey Secondary School (Massey Mustangs Team 4903), University of Windsor – Bachelor of Computer Science (Honours)
Belle River District High School (Belle River Boltheads Team 4920), University of Windsor – Electrical Engineering
Belle River District High School (Belle River Boltheads Team 4920), St. Clair College – Electromechanical Engineering Technology – Robotics
Michelle Bondy, a WEFR board member who chaired this year’s bursary selection committee, emphasized, “Each year, we witness remarkable talent among scholarship applicants pursuing post-secondary education. Our heartfelt wishes go out to all applicants and recipients as they embark on their STEM careers, some even within our local institutions. In addition to the bursaries that WEFR awards FIRST students, we are fortunate to have the University of Windsor and St. Clair College offering generous scholarships to support our regional FRC community .”
FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) is a renowned international program that encourages high school students to collaborate with teachers and professional mentors to design and construct 120-pound robots with a standard kit of parts and common set of rules to play in a themed head-to-head challenge.
Windsor-Essex proudly hosts the Windsor Essex Great Lakes District (WEGLD) Event, which attracts approximately 1500 high school students from across North America annually to compete at the University of Windsor’s Toldo Lancer Centre. The recent Windsor Essex Great Lakes District Event witnessed the participation of 38 teams, with three local teams advancing to the World Championship in Houston, Texas.
About Windsor-Essex FIRST
Windsor Essex FIRST is a volunteer group that acts as a the regional arm of FIRST Canada and works year round to promote FIRST in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent. Thanks to the effort and dedication of hundreds of volunteers – Windsor-Essex FIRST also coordinates events such as the annual Windsor-Essex FIRST Robotics Competition. www.windsoressexfirst.org