FIRST IS AMAZING
Full text of open letter of gratitude to NYCFirst from the Jamaica College Old Boys Association of New York.
JAMAICA COLLEGE OLD BOYS ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK
28 February 2018
FIRST New York City
100 Avenue of Americas
New York, NY 10013
Greetings Mary-Ann, Michael, Ana and Carol:
This is to express profound thanks for the experience of Jamaica College with FIRST Tech Challenge. Our experience has been absolutely amazing. All throughout our FTC journey we have encountered incredible support and enthusiasm for JC and Jamaica. The outcomes for our school and soon to be...our country...have been spectacular. We are truly overwhelmed with gratitude.
The idea of JC's participation in NYC FTC began in the summer of 2009 when, dissatisfied with the state of Jamaican education and in search of solutions, we discovered FIRST. Intrigued, we explored the program at area schools. Impressed, our organization (JCOBA-NY) with the patient guidance and hand-holding of Ana Martinez, made frenetic efforts to have a team registered and ready (somewhat) to compete at the Javits Center in March 2010. The fact that our robot failed to start in the competition (having been disassembled at the Jamaica airport as a possible explosive) was devastating then...but is now a cause to chuckle. We stayed the course thankfully.
FTC has engaged the entire JC community: students-teachers-administrators-parents-PTA-school board-alumni-corporate supporters. This team work has allowed JC to compete in New York consistently since 2010. This has not been an easy task but the power and value of FTC, along with its support team, has enabled our community to sustain the project. Our students have enjoyed every benefit advertised by FIRST...and then some.
As Mary-Ann noted in announcing JC's Inspire Award win, this year may be our last in NYC competition. This is a classic bitter/sweet moment for obvious reasons. Beyond inspiring the JC community, our FTC love affair now engages all Jamaica, from our Prime Minister down to schools and community organizations. FTC Jamaica will (calamity aside) launch Feb 2019 and JC plans to compete at home.
We are enormously pleased and proud to expand the FIRST franchise to Jamaica. This would not have been possible without Carol's guidance and patience. I have no doubt that our Caribbean neighbors will soon be engaged by the possibilities within FTC and join the movement in some fashion. We pledge to be worthy ambassadors of FIRST in Jamaica and beyond if given the opportunity.
On behalf of Jamaica College and Jamaica, please accept our sincere thanks for all the support rendered to us over the past 9 years of life-changing experiences for so many. Fortunately, this is not a goodbye message but one of goodwill. We will remain in touch.
Cheers & Go FIRST!
STEM Programs Coordinator Jamaica College Old Boys Association of New York, Inc.
+1 (516) 524.0671