The Gracious ProfessionalismTM at Our Core
FIRST was founded on the belief of Gracious Professionalism, this principle reaching the core of what it is to be a Swartdog. Gracious Professionalism can be defined as the act of competing your best, but exuding values of respect, kindness, and dignity, always willing to aid a fellow team. This is what gives FIRST, and our team, the defining presence it has and makes robotics into a character building experience for all.
Gracious Professionalism is found in every aspect of this team, and has led to us becoming a family above all else. Students are encouraged to join our tea club where we share samples of teas from our diverse backgrounds. Team lock-ins, shared meals, games, and entertaining Kahoot quizzes are some of the ways we bond as a family. Our “Grandma Rule” reminds us not to do or say anything we wouldn’t in front of our grandmothers. Gracious Professionalism is at the core of our team, and we work hard to bring the culture of FIRST to our school, our state, our country, and now, around the world.
The article below was originally posted on the FIRST ROBOTICS website. Thanks to FIRST Team 1108 for posting.
What began as a nightmare turned into a dream come true, thanks to FIRST team members around the country who understand ─ and practice ─ the true meaning of Gracious ProfessionalismTM.
While attending the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Greater Kansas City Regional this past February, the robot trailer of Team 1108 “Panther Robotics” was stolen from a parking lot. Although their robot was not in the trailer, a monitor and printer were. In addition, the trailer also stored spare parts used in the No Robot Left Behind program. This program ─ now in its sixth year ─ provides labor, expertise, and parts to teams in need at various competitions throughout the year.
In an effort to help Team 1108 ─ and demonstrate Gracious Professionalism at its best ─ on the final day of the competition, Team 525, from Cedar Falls, Iowa, subtly solicited help from conference attendees, who volunteered to donate their MasterCard gift cards ─ a competition give-away ─ to “Panther Robotics.”
“We were overwhelmed that 20 teams donated their gift cards, as well as cash, to be used toward the purchase of a replacement trailer,” said Lisa Keel, FIRST, Western Missouri and Kansas Regional Director. “Were we surprised? Yes and no. It was wonderfully appreciated…but also something we’ve come to expect from any FIRST team.”
However, this example of Gracious Professionalism doesn’t end there. Once Keel shared the story with MasterCard, the credit card company replaced all of the donated cards. And, a few weeks later, when Team 1108 attended the St. Louis regional competition, another team also donated their gift card.
“This is by far one of the best examples of Gracious Professionalism that I’ve been able to witness,” said Marilyn Hays, business assistant, Kansas City MasterCard Global Technology and Operations. “I am so proud to represent MasterCard as a sponsor of the FRC Greater Kansas City Regional, and to have been a part of assisting the team in need.”
As the team’s sponsor, Kathy Shirk, so aptly put it, “Monitor, printer, spare parts: $500; Single axle robot trailer: $2,500; Gracious Professionalism: Priceless!”
The Swartdogs were honored with a mention in the 2012 kickoff video for our Gracious Professionalism.