What to Expect
Besides camaraderie with a vast network of like-minded individuals committed to STEM education, innovation, and building life and technical skills of FIRST students, here are a few things you can expect as a FIRST volunteer:
Event Day Volunteers:
Communication — From event organizers. They will be available to answer all your questions prior to and during the event.
Training — You will receive training specific to your assigned job either before or on the morning of the event. FIRST provides appropriate training according to each Volunteer position. Some Volunteer positions require focused trainings that may last a day or two, while other positions can be learned at the event itself.
Event T-Shirt and Name Tag — Depending on program and event, you may be given a t-shirt and name tag. These designate you as a FIRST Volunteer for the day. They allow you access to the area of your Volunteer job and are your ticket to the Volunteer lounge for food and refreshments throughout the day.
FIRST Year of Service — All FIRST volunteers receive a FIRST Year of Service pin based on how many years they have volunteered at the 1,3,5,10,15, and 20 year intervals. And yes, FIRST has an extraordinarily high volunteer retention rate and we do have twenty year volunteers still with us today.
Spirit — The classic “We’ve got spirit, how about you?” chant pales in comparison to what you’ll experience at a FIRST event. Part sporting event, part rock party, you may just see moms with mohawks, six-year olds dressed as LEGO elements, and dancing flash mobs. The spirit is contagious, so if you are a new volunteer, you may want to remember your dancing shoes, your Halloween costume, wear every FIRST pin you’ve ever received, break out the face paint, trick out your top hat, dust off your FIRST logo earrings, and get ready for some fun.
Mentors and Coaches:
Communication - You'll receive communications from FIRST regarding important dates and information throughout the season in the form of email blasts, blogs and via social media.
Resources - Mentors and Coaches have many resources at their disposal including: handbooks, forums and field personnel.
Recognition - January is Mentor month. Mentors and Coaches
And a Whole Lot More — It doesn’t matter which FIRST program you Volunteer for, you will always walk away at the end of the day with a sense of pride and fulfillment, knowing that you have helped children experience what they never might have without FIRST and without your support.
"Over the past seven years, I've had the privilege to mentor 11 teams, host 12 tournaments, and emcee for the Florida state tournament and FIRST LEGO League World Festival. My passion is changing lives, and while doing so, I found that mine changed as well."
Jason Lovelace, FIRST Volunteer
“I welcome the opportunity to encourage everyone I meet to get involved with FIRST as a Volunteer, a Mentor, or by supporting a team. The rewards are simply too immense to summarize in words…”
Nicole Collazo, Senior Software Engineer II