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FIRST Values ~

Gracious Professionalism®

Dr. Woodie Flowers, FIRST National Advisor and Pappalardo Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, coined the term "Gracious Professionalism®."

Gracious Professionalism is part of the ethos of FIRST. It's a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.

With Gracious Professionalism, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions. Gracious professionals learn and compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process. They avoid treating anyone like losers. No chest thumping tough talk, but no sticky-sweet platitudes either. Knowledge, competition, and empathy are comfortably blended.

In the long run, Gracious Professionalism is part of pursuing a meaningful life. One can add to society and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing one has acted with integrity and sensitivity.

Coopertition®

Coopertition® produces innovation. At FIRST, Coopertition is displaying unqualified kindness and respect in the face of fierce competition. Coopertition is founded on the concept and a philosophy that teams can and should help and cooperate with each other even as they compete.

Coopertition involves learning from teammates. It is teaching teammates. It is learning from Mentors. And it is managing and being managed. Coopertition means competing always, but assisting and enabling others when you can.

Volunteerism

FIRST is truly a volunteer driven organization. With close to 27,000 teams in four programs worldwide, it takes a large and diverse group of volunteers to make FIRST successful; Mentors and Coaches guide the kids on their teams, Event Volunteers make the hundreds of seasonal events possible and field volunteers continue to help FIRST grow season after season.

The Volunteer section of our website is meant to support you, our volunteers who make it all possible. We strive to provide you with pertinent information and resources that will keep you informed, support your efforts and help you get the most out of your volunteer experience with FIRST.

Whether you have four hours on a weekend to help, want to mentor for a length of time, have technical or non-technical expertise, there is a volunteer role suited to your unique interest.

Become a FIRST volunteer and you’ll find a community of like-minded, dedicated individuals and a sense of camaraderie, excitement, and joy while working For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST).


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