Reflecting on and Celebrating Your Impact

May 25, 2021 By Cassie McIntyre, Director of Corporate Partnerships & Individual Giving, FIRST




Hi FIRST® friends, Cassie McIntyre here, director of corporate partnerships & individual giving at FIRST. For those of us in education spaces in the U.S., this time of year culminates in graduations and celebrations/reflections of the past year with a hint of hope for what warmer weather and the summer will bring. For me personally, this is also a time of year to look forward with hope for not what only the summer brings but the following school year, which is Kindergarten for our household, and beyond.

As we close out the month of “May the fourth be with you” and prepare to wrap up our season of FIRST® GAME CHANGERSSM powered by Star Wars: Force for Change, I can’t help but reflect on the last in-person FIRST event I was able to attend prior to COVID. Here I am with my pals BB-8 and Scott Trowbridge from Lucasfilm and Walt Disney Imagineering at the 2020 Los Angeles FIRST® Robotics Competition Regional. This was such an amazing event! (When we are all together in person again can someone please teach me how to properly take a selfie photo?) This photo reminds me of all the amazing individuals – humans and droids alike – who step up to the plate to inspire and support our community’s young people to build a better future.

Cassie, BB-8, and ScottCassie McIntyre from FIRST with Scott Trowbridge from Lucasfilm and ‘Star Wars’ droid BB-8
at the 2020 Los Angeles FIRST Robotics Competition Regional.

Celebrating Your Impact

Today we want to pause and say Thank You to all of you who made our 2020-2021 season possible and for your continued support in ensuring FIRST is available for decades and future generations to come.

This past year, the FIRST students and alumni you supported used their FIRST-built skills for good during the COVID-19 crisis. From creating PPE and grocery-delivery robots to finding creative ways to stay connected and learn STEM virtually or from a safe distance, their acts were proof that FIRST is a good long-term investment and now more important than ever.

Even with the impacts of COVID felt around the world, there is still the need to reflect, to celebrate and come together (albeit virtually) where we can, and to remain hopeful for what the future can bring. Here at FIRST, a 501c3 non-profit like so many others, we intentionally pause to reflect and celebrate moments from earlier this season that wouldn’t have been possible without the continued support of our dedicated staff, field partners, volunteers, and generous donors and sponsors. We know there are many incredible organizations in the world doing amazing and impactful work.

In case you missed it, just last week we were thrilled to reveal our upcoming robotics season, FIRST® FORWARDSM presented by Qualcomm, giving our youth participants the power to reimagine a path forward and invent the future of transportation. In addition, we have a number of celebrations and virtual award shows to wrap up the FIRST GAME CHANGERS season that the FIRST Community can look forward to in the weeks to come. We hope you will tune in; more details on these celebrations can be found in our recent Inspire post.

In the future, we know the world will need even more well-rounded scientists, engineers, and innovators coming from diverse backgrounds and communities to help solve the challenges of the next 30, and even the next 300 years. We also know that today FIRST programs have a proven, sustained impact on young people – especially young women – deciding to pursue STEM-related majors and careers.

Your continued support of FIRST ensures that our programs will remain available for all young people, when and where we’re needed, now and in the future. From myself personally and all of us at FIRST – THANK YOU!

Please help continue FIRST programs for all   young people by making a donation to FIRST.


If you have an inspiring story or piece of wisdom that you’ve picked up through your experiences in the FIRST community, please reach out to us at and inquire about becoming a guest contributor for Inspire.

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