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"Hear My Voice: Youth Leadership at FIRST" (FIRST Inspire Blog)

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My name is Katie Johnson, and I’ve grown up in FIRST programs. My parents have coached teams since I was two years old, and I always knew that I wanted to get involved as soon as I could. I joined a FIRST LEGO League team when I was in third grade, and since then my involvement with FIRST has snowballed. I am now in my seventh year on a FIRST Tech Challenge team and my fourth year on a FIRST Robotics Competition team. I have become who I am today through my experiences in FIRST. I have identified my academic interests (I intend to major in computer science because of my time in FIRST), learned about my passions, and become a strong leader.

While I am a leader within my own teams, to me the most rewarding projects that I have worked on are those that have reached a much broader audience. I am passionate about creating diverse, accepting environments, and in my time in FIRST I have created or help run numerous communities focused on diversity and inclusion. A current project that is very important to me is LGBTQ+ of FIRST, an online community that I have run alongside a few friends for the past two years.I am so proud of LGBTQ+ of FIRST because of the impact that it has -- members have said that they only truly accepted themselves or learned how to be accepting of others after joining LGBTQ+ of FIRST. I also help run FIRST Ladies, and I have participated in the #FIRSTLikeAGirl campaign....

Read more from "Hear My Voice: Youth Leadership at FIRST" on the FIRST Inspire blog.

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