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Feedback from Harlem Knights Team Members and Alumni

“Starting out in high school I was a shy child who was greatly interested in math, but didn’t really know of a place where I could do more of what I loved. Although I was a man of math, I was primarily interested in majoring in business administration once I went to college. When I joined the Harlem Knights Robotics Team, that career choice changed instantly. From being a part of the robotics team, I have gained a new sense of innovation, learned how to think in ways that many people would not find normal or practical, gained a great deal of confidence, and become a better person in every sense possible. Being a part of the Harlem Knights has done more for me than I can ever do for myself, and I am eternally grateful for that.” –J. Bailey Jr., Team Captain, Class of 2012

“Being on the robotics team has benefited me because it has taught me to work hard on a team, showed me how to make a robot that’s as big as me, made me more confident in the art of engineering and made me look forward to being on the team again.  It has also showed me that I can be a great engineer, if I choose to pursue that career. Besides that, it has also showed me that even though we might not win at a competition, we still win as a team because we have great people who are successful and can create a strong family out of the team. I am proud to be a part of the Harlem Knights Robotics Team 1660.” –R. Vasquez, Class of 2013

“Last year I made one of the best academic decisions and that was joining the FDA robotics team. The robotics team is not just an extracurricular or something I enjoy doing. It’s an obsession and my teammates have become my family. The beauty of it is you get to watch something that you had a small role in creating become a tangible object. It’s like having a child grow on you. There is no greater joy than watching your idea become a working robot. However, that is not the only source of my infatuation. It is also the application of what is learned in the classroom. I joined because I was struggling in Physics and Trigonometry. I could not for the life of me figure out why I needed physics until robotics. When I had to apply mathematics and physics I realized that these subjects are applicable in life and Robotics is the best extracurricular.” –S. St. Hilaire, Class of 2013

“Being on the robotics team helped me to become a better individual. Not only was I educated in engineering, but I was taught about life. Robotics was a learning experience as well as a family experience.” –O. Campbell Jr., Class of 2011, SUNY Stony Brook University, Mathematics Major

“Even though I was a relatively new member to the team, becoming one of the Harlem Knights strengthened my passion for engineering. It also made me used to working on a team, something I never fared well with until now. We all shared the same disappointments when something went wrong and we all shared the same feeling of success when the robot was functioning as planned. Working with my friends and peers to create a robot was one of the most satisfying experiences I had in high school. Robotics definitely became one of my motivations to pursue engineering in college.” –L. Polanco, Class of 2011, CUNY City College of New York, Electrical Engineering Major

“Being on the team made me appreciate a new group of people and helped me practice engineering early. This team makes me want to do well in engineering in college so that I can come back and help the team in the future.” –M. Moore, SUNY Farmingdale, Mechanical Engineering Major

“Being on the robotics team [changed] my future career goal… Although I knew nothing about engineering, by the second week of being a part of this amazing team, I was in love with what we did in this room…Focusing on medicine, I decided to major in Biomedical engineering, something that I never had thought about. In short, robotics changed my life completely by helping me discover a passion for engineering that I never knew that existed within me.” –A. Tavarez, Class of 2011, CUNY City College of New York, Biomedical Engineering Major

“As a veteran team member of the robotics team, it has allowed me to envision different perspectives of life. First of all, I consider the team to be my second family. The role as the captain of the team for several years has equipped me with leadership skills that I use daily. It has also helped me see my true limitations. As a college student I often recall the endless nights working on the robot until 1 or 2 in the morning and I tell myself that if I can put this much effort in robotics, I can also do this with my 10-page college papers or with anything that requires a lot effort and dedication.”  –X. Marrero, Class of 2011, SUNY Stony Brook University, Computer Science Major

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