I am a junior from a school in the southside of Chicago called, Horizon Science Academy McKinley Park and am part of a robotics program that has been around for 5 years. Our team is FIRST 5125 Hawks On The Horizon, built and run by high school students dedicated to building robots and impacting our community. I have been a member for about 3-4 years, and in that time I have learned so much; not just how to build, wire, and program a robot, but also how to help others, how to work as a team. We are actually one of almost four thousand teams that are similar to us. Each team competes at competitions, called Regionals. There is one in about every state, with teams from around the world competing at these Regionals. Since our team is in Chicago, we compete at the Midwest Regional with another 54 teams and attempt to go to the World Championships. I would appreciate if you attended to see what this program has done for thousands of kids.
I was born and raised in Chicago with two younger siblings by a single mom. As a minority growing up around gangs and drugs, this team has been my one good thing, the motivation to learn the family that encourages me to do my best, and the one place I don’t feel like my skin dictates how I’m treated or seen. This program has students like me, but there are millions who aren’t in it, falling victim to violence, addiction, and hate. They need a role model, someone they can look up to and you two, Mr. and Mrs. Obama are mine. Like I mentioned before we would love it if you came but not just to see kids compete, but to inspire these kids who aren’t so sure what to do, who are thinking that maybe the other path is the better one. We want you to show them it’s not.
Mr. Obama, you once said, “there is not a liberal America and a conservative America—there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America—there's the United States of America.” This program is that; it is the mixing of all races, cultures, ethnicities, and religions working together regardless of everything else. Mrs. Obama, you once said, “there are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made.” I truly believe this a cause worth sacrificing for, because this event may not make the history books, but it will be the moment in the history of a young girl or boy where they decide to be better, to try harder, to go past the limit. My team wants to inspire. Inspire our school, our community, our city, and one day, the world. With you coming to Midwest Regional, we hope to do that. Even if it’s just one person, that person will have learned, and inspire someone else, making the world we live in just a little better than it was before. We hope you consider attending.