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R.O.B.B.E. Alumni Testimontials

Empowing students to become leaders in the local community and beyond is at the core of everything we do.  More than 400 students have been part of the program since the team's founding in 1997.

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Maddie Shallop BBHS Class of 2019

I originally joined Team 56 my Freshman year of high school. I was really interested in engineering at the time and joined the Robot Development Sub Team. I then took a break from the team for my middle two years of high school to focus on my grades. No matter what, school always comes first in the team. I continued to support the team during this time and returned to the team my Senior year, this time as a part of the Branding Sub Team. Even though I had not been on the team in two years, everyone welcomed me back into the ROBBE family. The team really is a family. We laugh together, we cry together, we celebrate our victories and learn from our losses. We help each other in school and in life, and we always have each other’s backs. During my senior year, I helped design and create our name tag buttons, our pit entrance, and the mascot. Through working on the Branding Sub Team, I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in the technical art field, an idea that I previously thought I could never do. Even after graduation and in college, Team 56 is continuing to help me. In Team 56, I learned skills, met new people, and helped make an impact in the community. Skills that give me a running start in my classes. People who I continue to be friends with. And a community that I want to continue helping. I came back to the team, this time as a mentor because I want to help the team just like it helped me.

Guramrit Singh BBHS Class of 2019

Guramrit Singh graduated high school in 2019. He was the President of the Bound Brook High School Robotics team and is now a mentor. Guramarit is attending Rutgers University and is studying computer engineering. I am fortunate enough to participate in the NASA L’SPACE Mission Concept Academy this summer. L’SPACE MCA is an opportunity for college students to gain experience as STEM professionals. In the academy, participants will receive mission development skills training each week from NASA scientists and engineers and collaborate with other students to design a mission-related team project. Many of the team-building and robot-building aspects of my experience on the team contributed to my application to the program. I wouldn’t have been able to get this far without my experience on Team 56. 

Thomas Urban BBHS Class of 2017

Thomas Urban graduated high school in 2017. He was a member of the Bound Brook High School Robotics team and is now a mentor. Thomas is attending Rutgers University and is studying mechanical engineering.

Melissa G. - Industrial Engineering Student @ Rutgers University, BBHS Class of 2015

"I remember thinking how college wasn't an option. Even with people telling me I could make it; I didn't. "Too much money, What time, commute or dorm, Is it worth it?" was all I could think the first year of High School and my parents could not help me due their language barrier. The thought of college seemed out of my grasp and impossible to reach. When I joined robotics I wasn't sure what to expect because I good friend of mine told me to join. It was my sophomore year of high school and slowly I began to see myself flourish within my robotics team. I started with the build team having professional engineers guide me through every aspect from the robotics to my college applications. I went from college was impossible to inspiring other through our Buddy Bot programs and outreach events. I would have never even considered engineering if it wasn't for FIRST who believed and told me I was an inspiration. There was never a moment where I thought it would be easy to go into engineering, but I knew it was possible. I developed strong Leadership, Communication, and Public Speaking skills, but the most valuable part I take away from Team 56 was that they taught me it did not matter the size of our team because together we were willing to work hard for our success. This mentality has not changed since that time and I joined the Society of Hispanic Engineers my freshman year. Later on, I was freshman of the month and then was nominated to become their Freshman representative, but all this would have never happened if I had never met Team 56. I graduated High School with Honors, 6 scholarships, National Honors Society, National Art Honors Society, College Readiness Program, Outstanding Senior Award Tennis and 3 beautiful medals from every year I was on the Robotics team. But like I said before all this would have never happened without the help of my mentors and Team 56. So my goal is to help others as an Industrial Engineer and inspire High schoolers to succeed with their strengths & future."

Sam L. - Computer Science Student @ Raritan Valley Community College, BBHS Class of 2015

"While I originally joined because I thought it would be cool to build robots, I actually got to improve my public speaking!  When serving in the role of safety captain my sophomore and junior years, I was able to explain all of the procedures we had in place in case of injury or robot malfunction.  My senior year I took over as VP of Strategic Planning.  In this role, I was responsible for all fundraising and logistics of our team.  Securing enough funding to travel to long-distance competitions had been an issue for our team in the past, and I volunteered for the role because I felt strongly that I could help make sure that we succeeded.   The group that I led helped to raise enough money for the team to travel to the 2015 Championship event in St. Louis! I feel that it was my previous experience on the team that gave me the confidence to take on the position.  I had an amazing four years on Team 56, and I'm continuing to work with them as a volunteer alumnus, helping out at competitions and assisting the team in organizing and running local events."

Juan Carlos M. - Security Engineer @ Check Point Software Technologies, BBHS Class of 2007

"Team 56 to me was the place where I met my two best friends Angelo and Khaled, together we learned engineering from a "doing" point of view rather than theory.   By experiencing first-hand the application of programming, math, and science; it would push us to learn and care about these courses.  Team 56 is the place where I met great mentors who helped me throughout my college years and even now as a professional.  Today, I am given a unique opportunity to mentor another team, and bring everything that I learned from my time with team 56. The one thing I always loved about R.O.B.B.E. is the "fast and simple" design philosophy.  In the future, I hope to build a much closer relationship with Team 56 because this is my roots, and a second home to me."

Jesse G. - Mechanical Engineer, Self-Employed, BBHS Class of 2007

"Being a member of Team 56 gave me the opportunity to make great connections in the real world. They guided me to pursue a career in fabrication and manufacturing. I highly encourage young people to join the robotics team. It gives you a more hands on approach to learning and it helps students who are unsure about what they want to do with their future. I have also made life long friendships, like the creators of FIRST say all the time, it's all about people. Team 56 thrives on amazing and hardworking people; the mentors and alumni make you feel like family and will try their best to help you with any endeavor."

Katie H. - Mechanical Engineer, BBHS Class of 2000

"I joined R.O.B.B.E. Team 56 my freshman year when the program was starting its first year at Bound Brook High School.  I participated in several aspects of the team throughout my four years, gaining valuable experience in design, teamwork, leadership and so much more.  I always loved math and science but never even knew that careers existed where I could apply all the subjects I loved until FIRST introduced me to engineering.  The passion and knowledge of every teacher, engineer and mentor that poured into the team made me want to pursue a career in engineering. I went on to Grove City College where I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and then worked as an engineer doing nuclear safety analysis at Westinghouse Electric Company and System One.  I would never have known the possibilities that were available to me without my FIRST experience."

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