The programming and events we put on here at FIRST® in Texas would not be possible without the selfless dedication of our community of volunteers across the state. While our volunteers aren’t exactly hidden, their work might only be seen by the community at a few competitions every year. This is particularly true for Emily Esch, the FIRST® Tech Challenge volunteer coordinator for the North Texas region. She works year-round to make sure that the season runs smoothly and is a memorable experience for everyone involved.
An alumnus of FIRST® Tech Challenge herself, Emily has put in countless hours as a volunteer over the years. In recent seasons, she has come into the role of Volunteer Coordinator for the North Texas FTC region. This title brings with it an arm-length list of responsibility. It is her job to organize and run volunteer training days and communications, connect leagues and tournament hosts, and more. Emily’s work not only provides a backbone to the current season but helps to develop the infrastructure on which future seasons will be run. The countless hours, constant communication, and on-the spot decision making might be the core of her role, but the heart comes from the students whose lives she touches.
Like many volunteers, Emily has experience highs and lows over her career. One recent high point comes from last season Dean’s List event. “During (the event) we interviewed a student who just blew us out of the water with everything she was doing.” Esch said, “(They were) everything you think of when you think of a Dean’s List candidate…” That student was eventually chosen as a regional finalist for the award and eventually won the award at the World Championships. Several days later, Emily received an email from the student, who thanked her and told her that she had been in inspiration as both a volunteer and a woman in STEM. “That moment is something I will always cherish. To be told that someone so inspiring looks up to me is just game changing.”
Our FIRST® in Texas volunteers are essential to making possible everything we do, and we want to do our part in thanking them for their hard work. Is there a volunteer in your community whose work deserves recognition? Don’t wait for an opportunity to thank them directly. Tell them how much they mean to you today.
Do you want to become a volunteer? Sign up today!