things take time

Priorities held over time present as dedication

Early April 2024 I earned the Volunteer of the Year award from FIRST Indiana Robotics. Th award is presented at the state tournament, on the field, and among the best people in the world, the FIRST Robotics ecosystem. From thousands of people, over months of work, I was chosen to be recognized, and for me, that has made all the difference.

The work itself was going to be done. I had established the habit, laid out the plans to attend, and raised my hand where I felt I could add value. This is a lesson in habits determining our outcomes, and our outcomes driving our goals. Further validation for me that when I set my mind to something, I make it possible. My life flows from me and through me. 

There are three programs in FIRST: FLL, FTC, and FRC. The Volunteer of the Year (VOY) is awarded to someone who has dedicated themselves at the highest level across these programs, across the state. Helping with the teardown and setup of FLL state, FTC events, and FRC events, in addition to specific volunteer roles during the events, my participation was evident. The way I think about myself distinguished from others is in my willingness to offer assistance at every moment; and to think this is the reason I earned VOY would be wrong. My willingness to offer assistance at every moment is not unique in FIRST Robotics, and that's one of the things I love about it. Though yes, I think of myself that way and do my best to embody that reality, offering assistance at every moment is table stakes among the FIRST Robotics ecosystem. I believe that holding onto that sentiment longer and more frequently might be a possibility. Even having said that, there are countless people who got up early to drive hours to an event, made plans at work to do extra work ahead of time and extra work afterwards, and spent their own money to provide themselves accommodations for three-day events. The dedication is insurmountable. All that is to bring a deeper respect to earning VOY 2024. Thank you to all of the volunteers!

My best friend Dan Leathers and I got involved in FIRST Robotics in 2004 as FRC participants. Since then, we've both engaged the program in various ways while helping each other level up our depth of experience and involvement. I couldn't have don't all I did this year without Dan. We have learned together, grown together, and helped each other through most everything.

For this great honor, I say 'Thank You', 

to join this great legacy I say 'Welcome', 

and to this amazing life I continue to create I say 'Onward'.

To this amazing life I continue to create I say 'Onward'

-Grant Carlile