INSPIRATION IS EVERWHERE

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FIRST experience turns challenges to opportunities for LA teen

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Yohance Salimu

FIRST Alumnus, FIRST Robotics Competition Team 1692, CougarBots, of Los Angeles; Second Lieutenant, United States Air Force

A homeless teen from an impoverished LA neighborhood turned to FIRST for more than his educational needs. FIRST answered Yohance Salimu basic survival needs when team Mentors offered him a place to stay, food to eat, and, ultimately, the motivation to pursue a successful career in the Air Force.

Background

As a homeless teen from an impoverished LA neighborhood with a high school graduation rate of 30 percent, Yohance Salimu turned to FIRST for more than his educational needs. FIRST also answered Yohance’s basic survival needs when team Mentors offered him a place to stay, food to eat, and, ultimately, the motivation to pursue a successful career in the Air Force.

Life Changing Lessons From FIRST

The Second Lieutenant says the lessons learned from FIRST have been instrumental in all that he has achieved today. Yohance credits FIRST with teaching him how to perfect his technical and leadership skills, as well as how to manage a work ethic and develop his overall professional growth.

FIRST Experience Turns Challenges to Opportunities

FIRST paved the way for Yohance to succeed in the working world so that he could eventually move his family out of a homeless shelter, away from soup kitchens, and on the path to recovery. Yohance says he plans to reach out and give back; to provide the energy and resources so that others can attain the same goals he has been able to.

“There is no substitute for what FIRST can do. There’s no other place to get that kind of all-encompassing experience — technical, interpersonal, professional.” — Yohance Salimu


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