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PRESS RELEASE: Jamaica College Robotics Team wins top award in NYC Regional Finals


Jamaica College Robotics Team wins top award in NYC Regional Finals

The Inspire Award winners beat leading NYC area schools and advance to Super Regionals

New York, NY, 25 March 2018 - The Auditorium at the Townsend Harris High School in Flushing, Queens, pulsated with excitement today as the Jamaica College Robotics Team (The Griffins) battled the best metro area high schools in the FIRST Tech Challenge Regional Finals. The team emerged triumphantly from the competition with the Inspire Award – and the highest accolades possible. Inspire trophy awardees are strong in every area assessed by judges and are regarded as model competitors who serve as ambassadors for FIRST.

Having also won a similar award February 18 at a qualifying tournament, the Griffin's next assignment with their robot - dubbed The Scorpion – is the Super Regionals Championships scheduled for March 16-18 at the University of Scranton. Their mission at that tournament will be qualification for the World Robotics Championship.

Commenting on the extraordinary achievements, the Griffin's coach and engineering guru, Paul Pounall said ""I was proud to see the team, diligently exercising what I had taught them. They remained high spirited, willingly interacting with other teams and performing any task required for our mission, even if this meant going outside of their core focus or comfort zone".

Winning the NYC metro area Inspire Award is a fitting result for the Griffins whose journey began in the 2009-2010 season. The JC Robotics initiative was founded and guided by the vision of JCOBA-NY which made arrangements for the team's registration, equipment, training and participation in FIRST Tech Challenge in that season. Subsequently the entire JC community of students, teachers, administrators and alumni embraced the project and sustained it over the past 9 years with funding to the tune of US$300K.

The entire team was fulsome in acknowledging and thanking their sponsors, which include: National Baking Company; The Gore Family Foundation; Port Authority of Jamaica; HEART Trust/NTA; tTech Limited; Jamaica Broilers Group; Mother’s Jamaica; Burger King; Tip Friendly Society; Island Car Rental; JCOBA-NY; Johnny’s Cakes and Chef Patrick Simpson.

Encapsulating the profundity of the moment, JCOBA-NY President Carl Bennett remarked, “While it is great when Jamaica’s students represent themselves well on the international stage and it stirs up significant excitement for our community here in the US and back in Jamaica, we are more gratified when the students have an enriched and fulfilling experience that enables building self-confidence, knowledge and life skills. These are an amazing group of students that have shown that despite having comparatively very limited resources, with opportunity and a structured support system that promotes a strong belief in their abilities, they can compete with their international counterparts and accomplish great outcomes.”

The victory fittingly takes place in what may be the Griffin's final appearance in NYC tournaments. Impressed by the massive benefits of FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), the JC community is determined to make it accessible to all secondary schools in Jamaica. After 9 years of effort, FTC will be launched in Jamaica - February, 2019 with the Jamaica College Foundation as franchise-holder of FIRST. In a game-changing development for Jamaica's education system, international-grade robotics competition will be available to any secondary school in 2019.

FTC Jamaica is the leading edge of a national workforce development initiative - Project TEAM Works - also sparked by JCOBA-NY. The mission is the upgrade of 30,00 students by 2030, AKA 30 by 30.

About Jamaica College & JCOBA-NY Inc.

Founded in 1795, Jamaica College is a prominent high school in Jamaica with a proud record of service to Jamaican society. Its graduates have an unmatched history of nation-building, creating key Jamaican institutions in politics, civil service, business, culture and social services.

The Jamaica College Old Boys Association of New York is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, incorporated in the State of New York in 1990. The association supports educational, extracurricular and infrastructure programs at Jamaica College. The Jamaica College Old Boys Association of New York also conducts community outreach programs in health, culture and sports in the Northeast USA. Our mission is powered by forging strategic alliances, through project fundraising and by providing technical assistance.


Contact: - Carl Bennett, President JCOBA-NY – Tel: +1 (212) 602-1374‬

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