Young kids celebrating at FIRST Championship

FIRST is committed to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

FIRST® is a robotics community that prepares young people for the future. A vital part of our strategic intent is to serve an inclusive and diverse audience, reflecting the population of the communities we serve—and even going beyond through targeted, new community outreach.

FIRST understands the broader societal context of economic, educational, and social factors historically leading to disproportionate access and outcomes. Leveraging cross-sector and industry collaborations, FIRST is actively engaged in developing and delivering strategies that remove barriers and ensure greater access to FIRST programs so that all youth can participate.


FIRST has prioritized initiatives, grants, and resources for these underserved, underrepresented and vulnerable populations

Underrepresented Populations:

  • Persons of Latinx Descent
  • Black/African Americans
  • Native American, Indigenous Persons, Alaskan Natives
  • Native Hawaiian, Asian, Pacific Islanders

Underserved Populations:

  • Economically disadvantaged students
  • Girls & young women
  • First generation in college
  • Disconnected youth
  • Those living in rural or urban areas

Vulnerable Youths:

  • LGBTQ+ youth
  • Runaway and homeless youth
  • Youth involved in the juvenile justice system
  • Immigrant youth & emergent bilinguals
  • Youth with disabilities and/or receiving special education
  • Youth emancipating from foster care

Selected definitions from Committee on STEM Education (2013) and Fernandes-Alacantra (2014).


Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Stories

Bringing schools together for STEM success

Heather Naviasky

Regional Manager of School Partnerships, the Y of Central Maryland

viewFIRST STEM Community

Bringing STEM engagement to disadvantaged youth through community-based organizations

STEM Equity Grantees

FIRST Youth-Serving Organizations

viewFIRST STEM Community

Transformative learning through robotics

Melissa Jackson

Grants Manager, Boys and Girls Haven, Kentucky

viewFIRST Tech Challenge School District

Building STEM culture in Compton

Michael Kurinsky

Administrator of Educational Services-Secondary, Compton Unified School District

viewFIRST School District

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Statement

FIRST is committed to fostering, cultivating and preserving a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion. We embrace and encourage differences in race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, income, language, learning difference, or any other characteristics that make our adult-force and students unique.

Exploring, developing and implementing strategies to become more inclusive and ensure access to our programs to all students (as well as access to key supports) is critical for FIRST to reach its goal and mission. ALL young people should have the opportunity to become science and technology leaders. FIRST will remove barriers to program participation for underserved, underrepresented students. Pursuant to that end, FIRST Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion is a concerted, organized effort to develop strategies to make its programs more accessible and inclusive.



Non-Medical Incident Form

The Non-Medical incident form can be used for any concern ranging from or related to volunteer issues, venue issues, Code of Conduct issues, or Youth Protection issues. Youth participants are encouraged to reach out ot the Youth Protection Department for support and assistance if they have any concerns about heir own safety and/or treatment or that of other participants in FIRST programs. Read more here.

Report a Non-Medical Concern.

EDI Sponsors
FIRST and Project THRIVE logo lockup

FIRST Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Team

Non-Discrimination Policy