The Bellarmine Preparatory School Robotics team in Tacoma, WA was recently awarded a $10,000 Best Buy Community Grant. The grant will be used to extend the team’s community outreach with local Boys and Girls Clubs.
Robotics Co-Director Joy Taylor said in the past the team has only been able to serve youth in the community up to 13 years-old; this grant will allow them to work with teens of the local Boys and Girls Clubs as well.
“The goal for the grant was to be able to serve teens in underserved areas,” Taylor said. “The first year will be specifically geared towards working with Al Davies (Boys and Girls Club).”
Louis Peters of Best Buy was involved selecting grant recipients. He shared that he was extremely impressed “with the program, and that he believed that they represented the school in the best way possible.”
“This program is exactly the kind of program that Best Buy envisioned supporting when we came up with this Community Grants program,” Peters said.
The application process consisted of a very comprehensive program evaluation which was completed primarily by the students.
Because the team will be working with additional kids, more equipment is needed. The grant will allow for the purchase of new Robotics Kits and laptops to accommodate this need.
“Our goal is for our students to become strong leaders.” Taylor said, “This grant process was a great opportunity for them to work on those skills.”
Established in 1999, Bellarmine Preparatory School hosts the oldest sustaining FIRST Robotics Competition team in the Pacific Northwest. They are registered as team number 360 and are known in the FIRST community as “The Revolution.”
The team’s mission is to inspire young minds to explore and experience Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). They accomplish their mission by fostering student leadership, developing skills in engineering and making STEM fun and accessible.