Frances Troche and Angela Dolly
FIRST Alumni Continue to be Successful
What happens to FIRST participants once they graduate high school? Two young women from St. Pius V High School in the Bronx exemplify how young people can take the momentum as FIRST team members and carry on to college.
Frances Troche and Angela Dolly were part of the first all-girls team in NYC. Currently, both study at Polytechnic University in Brooklyn, but if someone had told them six years ago that they would be Bio-molecular majors they wouldn't have believed it.
Their team, appropriately named the "Pius Princesses", or in FIRST-speak Team #1224, started with few resources, but quickly made an impact.
Angela remembers it being difficult in the beginning because there were no classes at their school that really dealt with science and technology. "We didn't have any tools, we felt like underdogs right away, but our FIRST team came together once we started working," says Angela.
When Frances looks back she remembers the excitement when they would stay late to work on the robot, and then get to see it work. She adds, "the experience was so incredible, fun, and it was really great to really be doing something hands-on."
Both Frances and Angela thank science teacher Sharee Petrignani, or Ms. P as she is known at school, and they are grateful for the assistance provided by mentors from the MTA and Credit Suisse that provided valuable technical expertise.
When reflecting on the creation of their team, Angela and Frances never questioned they whether or not they were on the right track. FIRST, they say, put them on a new course. "FIRST showed me the great things I could do through different careers, and the problem-solving skills I learned back then, I still use," says Frances.
When Angela reflects back she says, "I would not have gone to Poly if I had never been in FIRST."
When asked about what advice they have for current rookie teams, Angela encourages teams "not to get discouraged if you start thinking its too hard." She adds, "I miss robotics, but my studies here at Poly are keeping me really busy!"