By Dorothy Byers
Volunteers and mentors are key to FIRST Robotics Canada’s success. Without these devoted and tireless members of our community, the students from K-12 would not be able to learn through the FIRST family of programs. Whether they are teachers, industry experts, parents, or community members, they are all bound by the same passion–to bring the experience of FIRST to students on their teams.
One such passionate mentor, Dr. Elliott Coleshill, was nominated for the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, awarded by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada. Dr. Coleshill was nominated for his volunteer contributions to FIRST FRC Team SWAT 771, mentoring FLL teams, judging at events, and articulating the impact of FIRST in the post-secondary and STEM community. Dr. Coleshill, a mentor for over 15 years, will receive this high distinction in a special ceremony.
Elliott is an original mentor of SWAT 771; he volunteered to help the fledgling team in 2001. Over the years, not only has he contributed thousands of hours, but he has also helped the girls gain confidence, develop the understanding that failure leads to deep learning, perseverance is key to success, and creativity and critical thinking lead to excellent planning and execution. He models these skills as he works with the team. One of the girls commented, “Dr. Coleshill taught me that there is always an answer, I just have to know what question to ask!” Beyond FRC, Elliott also mentors FLL, judges at numerous events, and speaks about the impact of FIRST at countless academic and industry events.
We wish to thank him for his contributions to the FIRST Community and to congratulate him on the outstanding national recognition of The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers.