Helping start a robotics program in Mississippi elementary schools nine years ago, Jennifer Richardson has been a mentor to many students in our school district, from elementary through middle and high school, as well as to students across our state. Before her involvement, there were only 3 teams in the state, and she was the mentor/coach for two of them. Although robotics wasn't her background, she saw the value of robotics in our schools and stepped out of her comfort zone to promote it for all students. By the second year, everyone was beginning to see how well her students were doing and how excited they were about STEM. Currently, there are now over 100 teams statewide.
With no additional pay and only her own ambition leading her, she began mentoring teachers from across her school district and the state to help them get started. She initiated teaching workshops for teachers and even presented at the Mississippi Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP) Summer Conference and the Mississippi Association of Career & Technical Education (MSACTE) Summer Conference to introduce robotics in more schools.