Abigail Holmes is one of the best in the world. The Huntington High School junior captured the Dean’s List Award at the FIRST Robotics World Championships in Detroit last weekend. She is one of just ten recipients from across the globe this year.
The teenager was nominated for the award by her teammates and Huntington Robotics faculty advisor Brian Reynolds. Ms. Holmes was named a finalist at the School Business Partnership of Long Island regional competition at Hofstra University.
“The selection process consisted of an essay written by Mr. Reynolds and an interview with myself and two SBPLI judges,” Ms. Holmes said. “I felt privileged to become a finalist at the Long Island regional as the SBPLI community has meant so much to me over my years in FIRST robotics.”
Award recipients must meet the following criteria:
- Demonstrated leadership and commitment to the FIRST Core Values
- Effectiveness at increasing awareness of FIRST in the school and community
- Interest in and passion for a long-term commitment to FIRST
- Overall individual contribution to their team
- Technical expertise and passion
- Entrepreneurship and creativity
- Ability to motivate and lead fellow team members
Last weekend at Detroit, Ms. Holmes vied against more than 1,000 fellow finalists from around the world. Essays and notes submitted by regional judges were reviewed.
Ms. Holmes traveled to the FIRST Robotics World Championships with her parents. She volunteered at Detroit as a student ambassador, giving tours to VIP guests and advocating for the FIRST program.
The Huntington senior attended the Dean’s List luncheon at the Cobo Center last Friday. Among the speakers was FIRST founder and inventor Dean Kamen and FIRST President Don Bossi along with the deans of MIT and Yale. The Dean’s List Award takes its name from Mr. Kamen, the inspiration behind the organization.
“When it came time to announce the winners, I had zero expectations; I was just so grateful to be a finalist,” Ms. Holmes said. “The announcer began, ‘From Huntington, New York . . .’ and said my name. I was shocked!”
As Ms. Holmes shook hands with Messrs. Kamen and Bossi the announcer exclaimed “she is truly stunned!” It wasn’t hyperbole, but a true statement.
The names of this year’s award recipients were made public at last Saturday night’s closing ceremonies. “I cannot thank FIRST and specifically, FIRST Long Island enough for the amazing opportunities they have provided to me and so many others,” Ms. Holmes said. “My heart is filled with nothing but gratitude and love for FIRST, Huntington UFSD and Team 5016.”
The talented teenager returned home walking on the proverbial Cloud Nine.
“Huntington is truly an amazing community with a wonderful administration that has supported our robotics team since the beginning,” Ms. Holmes said. “Huntington Robotics is a force to be reckoned with and I could not be more proud of our team’s success and thankful to be a member of the team!”