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Jury Rigg'edA column by Patrick Riggs

RUSHing to the top

December 16, 2009 - You may have seen my byline on a few stories in my time as an intern so far, but this is my first opinion column.

It's a thought that is both empowering and humbling at the same time.

I am going to delay the inevitable as much as I can by first introducing myself.

My name is Patrick Riggs, and I am a senior at Clarkston High School. No, I do not know where I'm going to college yet, but I can tell you that right now it's probably either Michigan State University or Northwestern (sorry Wolverines, no journalism major!).

I gained a passion for reporting and photography through Team RUSH, which is a really great program. And no, I'm not just saying that because I'm involved.

This brings me to my whole opinion part. From my two going on three years experience on the team, I can tell you it's a life-changing experience: it sure changed mine.

If you could have met me three years ago and told me I would eventually be writing this piece, the only reason I wouldn't tell you that you were dead wrong was because I was too shy to say so.

Through Team RUSH, however, that has changed.

Contrary to popular belief, Team RUSH is not just a robotics team. While we DO build robots, we also run like a business, we create leaders, we interact with the community, and we change math and science curricular delivery.

We form partnerships with local, state, and national legislators, we promote math, science, and technology, we effect culture change.

Our mission statement explains all of this. Our mission is "To develop leadership skills and increase real world experiences in an exciting environment so that our members become leaders in a global 21st century knowledge economy dependent on math, science, and technology."

Before you dismiss us as just nerds building 'bots, consider what we have done and are continuing to do.

You may be surprised what high school kids can try, if they set their mind to it.

Patrick is a writing student at Clarkston High School.
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