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2014 Dean's List Essay: Alex Lew

Alex Lew is enthusiastically working to change the perception of STEM in our community every single day, devoting himself to the ideals of FIRST. He has dedicated the last three years to promote FIRST robotics across his school, community, state, and region - always making a positive impact. Alex is passionately continuing the work of Team 1912 Combustion promoting FIRST and STEM, particularly the increasing demand for STEM trained employees across our state.

Always leading by example, Alex is now the driving force in every facet of 1912 from community outreach to the robot. Understanding STEM interest begins early in life; he served on the 2013 BLaST planning committee and planned, organized and conducted the 2013 Louisiana JrFLL State Expo in New Orleans, hosting 19 teams from across the state. He volunteered at the 2012 LA JrFLL Expo; has helped run all three FLL Qualifying tournaments conducted by 1912 in the past two years; and assisted at the 2012 FLL Regional Championship. Alex has increased his outreach participation over time, anchoring over 20 outreach events for 1912 in the past 12 months alone. The activities have varied from elementary students to politicians, knowing every event can make an impact. Key activities include Science Camp head counselor, Rocket Camp events planner, State and District PTA Conventions, ISA demonstration, sponsor appreciation visits, LA Engineering Society and LA Science Teachers Association presentations and the NASA MAVEN Launch event at INFINITY Science Center, which included an interview with a local TV station. From meeting Governor Jindal and LA state representatives to demonstrations at the Yazoo City, MS Boys and Girls Club, Alex is always advocating FIRST across the region.

Alex has advanced in his responsibilities through his three years on 1912. As a freshman, Alex was responsible for batteries on the pit crew and wiring the control board. He became Treasurer as a sophomore and found new sponsors for the team; wrote 1912's Entrepreneurship Award submission; and presented a well-received Financial Sustainment brief to teams at the 2013 Bayou Regional. He found new sponsors for the team, including a winning NI grant, and helped write newsletters for team sponsors. With two years of controls team work, Alex became controls captain - leading a team of seven students. A Beta Test veteran, he led 1912's Beta Test team this year for changes in the 2014 control system. At the finish, he introduced area teams to the newest software. In December, he helped coordinate the first ever Computer Science Education Week "Hour of Code" at Northshore High School, providing unique access to computer literacy. He served as the lead electrical student for JumpStart, helping 10 rookie teams have a rolling chassis by the end of day. In addition, he is Captain of 1912's SPHERES team, our Outreach Leader, Finance Captain, and Webmaster. He wrote 1912's Chairman's Award submission and will be on the presentation team. Finally, Alex will serve as the Drive Team Coach at competition.

To complement his FIRST background, Alex is Beta Club President, Mu Alpha Theta Secretary, LA Beta Club Quiz Bowl MVP and captain, Honorable Mention in Scholastic Writing Awards for Southeastern LA, Creative Writing editor-in-training, JETS/TEAMS member, won the State Literary Rally in Physical Science, and composed 2 cello pieces for Talented Music. In fact, his original compositions are used in team videos.

Alex understands he has an outstanding start on his journey to studying computer science in college. He will continue to apply the skills he has learned through FIRST and continue his dedicated service as he mentors FIRST teams in the future. Alex is the latest in a line of students propelling Team Combustion to success; continually demonstrating a tireless work ethic and unselfish willingness to help others. Always embodying the ideals of gracious professionalism, Alex Lew is a true Ambassador for FIRST and FRC.

Webmaster's Note: Alex Lew was a Dean's List Winner at FIRST Championship in 2014.

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