Colibri, a student at Visitation School in Mendota Heights, was awarded a Dare To Dream grant in the fall of 2018 to participate in her school’s all-girls FIRST Robotics team, The Robettes. In early 2019, ABF launched our first video competition to hear from alumnae about how they were impacted by their grant experience. Colibri’s inspiring video was the winner of our contest. She talked about what she’s learned on The Robettes, the effects of machismo culture, and being a girl in STEM.
Here is a transcript of Colibri’s video:
Hi, I’m Colibri and I’m a sophomore from Visitation, and a member of FIRST Robotics—The Robettes. This year ABF has helped me participate in Robotics.
Q: What advice would you give to other Minnesota girls who want to pursue their dreams?
A: Don’t think your dream is impossible. If you want to be an engineer, a scientist, a designer, don’t let others tell you that you cannot achieve your dream. Don’t be afraid to be unique because you were born to stand out. Always keep your head high, smile, and believe. Even though you might not have that confidence yet, you should stand firm because you can achieve every possibility. And once your confidence catches up to you, nothing will hold you back.
Q: Could you tell us how receiving the ABF grant has impacted your life, Colibri?
A: I learned that I am capable of many things. I can help make a robot, I can present in front of judges, other teams. I am no longer afraid to try something new. The grant has impacted me, giving me confidence that I can reach any possibility, like the possibility to make something more out of my life. To know that I can be anything I want to be, as long as I try. I know that I can do anything if I truly believe in myself to get there despite the challenges and difficulties that come along the way. Challenges because I am Hispanic, I come from a Latino culture, and the main environment is male-dominant. Even at home, sometimes the women in the family are faced with what we call machismo, or, in other words, “masculine pride.” And this sometimes makes it very hard to feel empowered. I do have the support of my father, but I don’t think he had ever imagined that I could possibly become an engineer. Being part of The Robettes has taught me to empower not just other women, but also myself, being able to represent women in STEM.
We are currently accepting submissions for our second video contest of the year ($100 prize), as well as a photo contest ($50 prize), and would love to hear from you if you are an ABF alumna! If you are participating in your grant activity this summer, we encourage you to take photos and videos and share your story with us.