FIRST Senior Mentor Program

Demand for FIRST has increased so rapidly and organically that it continues to face a growing challenge to sustain the infrastructure needed to support this growth. Founded in 2005, the FIRST Senior Mentor program prides itself in its cross-program, grass-roots approach. Through outreach events, expositions and demonstrations they are able to attract new Volunteers, Mentors and Coaches to sustain and support both rookie and veteran teams. 

The FIRST Senior Mentor program is a critical addition to an organization that needs people on the ground, working in a hands-on environment, filling in the gaps of support to whomever and whatever is needed. FIRST Senior Mentors, or FSMs, are both technical and non-technical individuals and bring with them a vast array of background and experience.

FIRST Senior Mentors are recruited through a cross-program nomination process that occurs locally at the collaborative recommendation of their Regional Directors and Partners because of their previous relationships with FIRST Programs and their general understanding of the culture of FIRST. Most, if not all FSMs have had existing relations with FIRST as Team Mentors, Coaches or event Volunteers. They work in a part-time capacity, (10-15 hours per week), in constant communication and collaboration with each Program Lead; their area Regional Director, Regional/Planning/Operational Committees, Program Partners, and VISTA Volunteers (if applicable).

FIRST Senior Mentors


Name *click name to access bio                                         

Contact Information                     

AZ Fredi Lajvardi 
CA, Los Angeles Eileen Kahn
CA, San Diego Rick Sisk
CA, Northern Teri Benart
CT  Kathie Kentfield 
DC  Don Brobst
GA Linda Pham
IL Diane Cabiness
IN Keith Hall
KY Rachel Riquelme
KY Roger Riquelme
MA Dana Henry 
MD Anne Shade
MN Evan Hochstein
MO, Kansas City Robert Dumler
MO, St. Louis Henry Graham
NJ & PA                
NY, Finger Lakes Ron Borden
NY, New York City Mike Siegel
NV Justin Major
OH Ted Hood
OR Debbie Kerr
TX, San Antonio Mike Henry 
TX, Brownsville Javier Saenz
TX, Dallas Joe Varnell
VA                                         Kristen Clemons
WA Eric VanBuren

Senior Mentors strengthen and expand FIRST partnerships with businesses, educational institutions, and communities. In doing so, the Senior Mentor program has moved us closer to achieving the goal of FIRST - to change society by providing youth with experiences that give them not just the skills, but also the desire, to solve problems through scientific and technological innovation.

Read more about becoming a FIRST Senior Mentor.

Read the FIRST Senior Mentor bios.

Read about our Ask an Expert Calls for rookie teams, Mentors and Coaches, cross-program.