UL Safety Smart Advisors Mentor FIRST Students

Moriam (Mo) Raji and LaTanya Schwalb, both Senior Project Engineers at UL-Northbrook, attended the Bedford District First Robotics Competition (FRC) in Temperance, Michigan. The competition was held April 5-6, 2013. They were joined by Joe Horth, Dan Brooks, and Jeff Whalen, who also served as part of the team of Safety Advisors.

Their role as Safety Advisors was to coach and motivate participants, staff, and the public to practice safe behaviors to ensure an injury-free competition. We encouraged everyone to wear safety glasses, closed toe shoes, use proper lifting techniques, and be conscious of their surroundings.

When they met with each team's Safety Captain, they talked to them about their housekeeping – i.e. – how clean they keep their pits, how they handle accidents or incidents at the event, etc. They also reviewed the team's safety manuals, discussed with them about their community outreach and how they can continue to promote a safe environment while working with their peers or particularly young children.

This event was the second event at which they volunteered. Their first FIRST Robotics event was the Gull Lake District FRC in Richland, Michigan in March 2013!

When asked what was most enjoyable about their volunteer experience LaTanya and Mo echoed the same sentiment, "what we truly enjoyed about serving as Safety Advisors was the opportunity to mentor the Safety Captains; and we were impressed by the teens? creativity, teamwork, and enthusiasm."

LaTanya's favorite moment at the Bedford event when a Safety Captain she met in March found her on Thursday evening. "She found me and brought me over to look at her team's Safety Manual and showed me the changes she made based on our conversation in March. I was truly impressed by her initiative."

Mo enjoyed the enthusiasm of the young adults and their initiative to correct a safety concern immediately. "A young gentleman at the Bedford district received feedback from the Safety Advisor Team that some of his materials in his First Aid kit were expired. The gentleman took the initiative to go out after the pits closed at 10pm and purchased a new First Aid Kit for his pit area. The next day he sought out the entire Safety Advisor team to notify us of the changes made within his safety area."

LaTanya and Mo were pleased to see that the students were listening and paying attention to the mentoring and coaching from the Safety Advisors team.

The picture on this page was taken at the Gull Lake event in March 2013. The gentleman in the center is Francois Castaing, who has served on the Board of Directors for FIRST since 1994, and currently serves as Chairman of the Board for FIRST in Michigan.