Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
– Margaret Mead
Although a relatively new 501(c)(3), our 100% volunteer group has been in existence since 2004, with many of the original mentors still involved. Originally formed as an after-school robotics club, the group has now transformed into a district-wide robotics-based educational initiative, supporting students from seven high/middle schools, and sponsoring junior teams and events for elementary students in the Longmont area. We have 18 active engineering mentors and 70 high-school student members who put in over 3000 community service hours each year, with outreach to hundreds of elementary and middle school students. We are now an established competitive robotics team rising to international prominence, having won numerous events and additional awards related to community service and engineering excellence over the last 4 years.
From 2004-2007, we were strictly an after-school club, working out of a single classroom. Since 2007 the group has been a district-wide team, operating out of St. Vrain Valley’s vocational education building. However, because the club was run by volunteers who were not school-district employees, building access was very limited, forcing mentors to arrange meetings in personal garages and living rooms.
We are now at the beginning of an exciting new era. A generous donor provided a building to house the growing organization. The new facility includes a dedicated machine shop, a large playing field and classroom space. The building has allowed us to expand our educational offerings and support elementary level robotics teams.
The costs and effort involved in running a new non-profit are significant. However, when we look around the country and see the healthy impact that large robotics programs can have on youth, on families, and on communities, we are encouraged and resolved to make a difference.