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FIRST North Carolina wins national award for mentoring

On August 11, at the White House complex, US2020 recognized the 2016 STEM Mentoring Awards winners for their exceptional work in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) mentoring.

The STEM Mentoring Symposium is a national field-building event that engages leaders from the public, private, and social sectors. Attendees discussed policies and practices to institutionalize STEM mentoring, brainstorm continued support for the President’s STEM Initiatives, including Computer Science for All, and explore exemplary program models and common challenges.

FIRST North Carolina is a 2016 winner of the Excellence in Volunteer Experience Award. Through the FIRST K-12 robotics-based programs, students are inspired to become the next generation of engineers, inventors, entrepreneurs, and leaders. Working side-by-side with mentors from business and industry, students discover their potential talent for unlocking new ideas and bringing them to reality. FIRST North Carolina volunteers and mentors are individually volunteering an average of over 200 hours per year.

“Mentoring is one of the most rewarding experiences. Having the privilege to watch these young people grow and mature into amazing young adults is inspiring for me as well as them,” said Brian Page, mentor for a FIRST Robotics Competition team in Greensboro.

“Young people today need to acquire a trans-disciplinary set of skills and a foundational knowledge of STEM disciplines, combined with an artistic and creative mind, in order to succeed,” said Surya Kant, president, North America, UK, and Europe, TCS. “We are proud of the dedicated efforts and achievements of the STEM Mentoring Awards winners, who are key contributors to shaping the youth of America for 21st STEM careers.”


FIRST North Carolina is a state-wide nonprofit that works closely with FIRST, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST in 1989 to inspire and appreciation of science and technology in young people. FIRST North Carolina was founded in 2009 to expand the four FIRST programs that build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from companies such as TE Connectivity, Qualcomm, Cisco, and more, FIRST North Carolina impacts more than 7,500 students across the state. To learn more, visit and

Media Contacts

Nikole Saulsberry – US2020,, 832.465.5291

Marie Hopper – FIRST North Carolina, 336.375.3861

About US2020  US2020, a division of Citizen Schools, developed from a White House call to generate large-scale, innovative solutions to our STEM education challenges. Its mission is to dramatically scale the number of STEM professionals mentoring and teaching students through hands-on projects with a focus on serving underrepresented communities — girls, underrepresented minorities, and low-income children. US2020 is supported by national Co-Investors: Alcoa, CA Technologies, Chevron, Cisco, Discovery Communications, HP, Raytheon, SanDisk, Tata Consultancy Services, and Texas Instruments. Through partnerships at the national level and coalitions at the city level, US2020 has built a network of more than 250 organizations in 13 cities actively working to scale the STEM mentoring field, to align the field on common metrics, and to advance a focus on quality. To learn more, visit


EdNC staff reporting relies on staff, interns, and columnists.