Mother in Chicago, Illinois
I have the distinct pleasure of managing Chicago Knights Robotics, a cosmopolitan team of high school students who use their interest in and curiosity about robotics to direct their learning paths. Founded in 2005, Chicago Knights is one the first community-based FRC team and the second-oldest team in Chicago.
To better serve their shared learning, working, and outreach efforts, in 2011 we founded LevelUP IRL, (a youth makerspace formerly located in Chicago's Ford City Mall). At LevelUP, teens can experience drop-in or scheduled learning opportunities centered around IKI projects. IKI projects are Interactive, Kinetic, Intelligent, or any combination of the three. In fact, if the project is all three, it is indeed a robot! It was the first of its kind in the US and is currently housed at Hyde Park Art Center.
This has been all accomplished under the umbrella of Agape Werks, Inc, an organization committed to providing meaningful academic enrichment opportunities for Chicago youth.
These accomplishments are even more meaningful due to the selfless involvement of my family. Everything else pales in comparison to the life my husband and I have built with our four wonderful children and seven grandchildren.