Graduates and alumni from FIRST Team 1676 play a significant role in the ongoing viability of the Pascack Pi-oneers team. Since the establishment of the team in the 2004-2005 season, the Pascack Pi-oneers have maintained a 100% high school graduation rate, and a minimum of 90% of graduating Pi-oneers pursue careers in STEAM fields. Inspired by the dedication and success of the Pascack Pi-oneers, the Guidance Department now tracks career interest in engineering among graduates.
Although they have completed their time as a student on the team, alumni constantly return for FIRST events to support and represent the Pascack Pi-oneers. Former team members also visit during school breaks to contribute their experience and give guidance to the current members of the team. Subsequently, relationships develop between returning alumni and current Pi-oneers, helping to build continuity from one year to the next. The fact that graduates eagerly return to the Pascack Pi-oneers to be actively involved in the team proves the statement “Once a Pioneer, Always a Pi-oneer” stands true.
Graduates of FIRST Team 1676 have been awarded over $400,000 in FIRST scholarships. Last year, the Bart Kamen Memorial Scholarship was awarded to member Noah Shields. After receiving a Platinum sponsorship many years ago, Team 1676 established a yearly scholarship. They award $500 to one graduating team member from each high school.
Pi-PAN (Pioneer Alumni Network)
Pi-PAN is Team 1676’s new Pi-oneer Alumni Network. Like Pi-Parents, we’ll send out a periodic newsletter of Team 1676 updates; these will be weekly during Build and Competition Seasons and monthly during the Off-Season. Valuable resources will also be offered to our alumni, such as interview training, resume workshops, and job opportunities.
The Pi-oneer Alumni Network’s mission is to reconnect with Pi-oneer alumni and to aid them in their educational and occupational endeavors.
Eric Delsanto, Pascack Pi-oneer Alumnus, Class of 2011
“I was a member of Team 1676 my entire high school career. The mentors taught me so many things I never knew before, which inspired me to pursue my Bachelors/Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering. During winter and spring break and whenever possible I return to mentor the Pi-oneers in the mechanical division and CAD (Computer-Aided Design). It is a lot of time to give back to the team, but every minute I can help out is worth it. It is very satisfying to give back to the team that gave me so much, but also I have learned so much by mentoring them. It goes to show that learning never stops, and I am glad I can learn from the team while helping others learn engineering. That is why I return whenever I can.”
Jenna Malley, Pascack Pi-oneers Alumnus, Class of 2013
“After arriving at Northeastern University, it was important to me to remain connected to the FIRST community. Being a member of the Pascack Pi-oneers, who had given so much to me in high school, inspired my decision to volunteer and I began mentoring FRC Team 125 in 2013. This year my team hosted an FIRST LEGO League tournament. None of the mentors on the team had ever run one before, however, I had volunteered for many with Team 1676. The Pi-oneers mentor’s welcomed me to shadow them throughout the planning stages, set up, and event during their 2015 FLL Qualifier, and this knowledge proved invaluable. Team 125 would not have been able to run their competition without the help of Team 1676.”
Matt Lantry, Pascack Pi-oneer Alumnus, Class of 2014
“When I began college I became a mentor for FRC Team 4475, a rookie team in an urban area. As a former Pascack Pi-oneer, I realized mentoring was an important path to take. During Build Season a misplaced order left my team without any materials to build our robot. I reached out to Team 1676 and they immediately provided material to build our robot. They graciously answered our questions and assisted with programming which provided our robot the capability to function at its best. Due to their assistance and generosity, my team had a great competition robot and became Finalists at an event.”