Your OregonFIRST Family
Deb has always been a role model to me. When I was a 15 year old girl there were a surprising lack of females in the STEM industry for me to look up to, which made me question my interests in the field. However, as soon as I was joined FIRST, I was introduced to Deb, and she became a role model for me.
At my first regional, I was excited to see Deb during Opening Ceremonies and I remember thinking for one of the first times that I could succeed here. I was excited to have someone to look up to who was like me. I needed a strong, smart female to look up too and Deb, even though she probably doesn’t know it, became that person.
I continued through high school, and whenever our team had troubles fundraising, or needing ideas for recruiting new students, Deb was always ready to help us out. She provided so much support for our team, and became even more of a role model for me and the other girls on my team. We looked up to Deb for a model of the women that we wanted to grow up to be, and I am sure many other girls do too.
So thanks Deb, for all you have done for me and the other students you reached through FIRST. Thanks for being an inspiration to me and other students and thank you for all your hard work.
Hello, my name is Brennan VandenHoek, proud alumni and current mentor of team 1425 Error Code Xero. Yes I know I don’t look old enough to be a mentor but apparently that is what you’re called when you’ve graduated and refuse to leave.
Deb is a wonderful, passionate and genuine person and an inspiration to us all. If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be a proud member of 1425. Because I am from Newberg not Wilsonville. During my junior year my team fell apart. After unsuccessfully trying start it back up it was Deb who met me at the front doors of Wilsonville High, walked me in, and introduced me to the team. This seemingly simple act made me feel comfortable and inspired me to dedicate myself to robotics and to the team that would ultimately become my family.
Deb is the kind of person that will go above and beyond the call of duty if she thinks it will help. Not only did she find me a team, she even took time out of her schedule during the busy weeks before kickoff to write me a letter of recommendation for Olin college. A college that I will be happily attending come Fall 2014.
After every conversation with her, I walk away not only feeling inspired and more excited about FIRST but empowered to better myself and those around me.
It only takes a few seconds of talking with her to realize how much she cares about FIRST and in turn each one of us. Whether it is empowering students to become leaders, battling for education policy change, or running awesome events like the Portland regional, Deb never stops fighting for us.
I am just one person that has been touched by her and I am not alone. She has left an impact on hundreds of others here in the PNW that will not be soon forgotten. I can’t imagine anyone that better embodies FIRST then Deb. George Fox is very lucky to have you. We will miss you Momma Hill.
I think what has really stood out to me about Deb is her complete and utter passion and love for this program. In my three and a half years being on a FIRST robotics team, I can’t offhand think of a single robotics event–big orsmall, near or far, official or non-official, it didn’t matter– where Deb wasn’t either physically there or had done something crucial behind the scenes to make it happen. Most likely both.
And so you go there and you see her, most likely talking to some kids in Lego League or to some important congresspeople, with these numbers that I could never possibly remember about jobs in STEM fields and quantities of teams and money going towards FIRST from the legislative powers that be; and you think that if only you, if only I as a senior hopefully going off to college soon and trying to figure out what to do with her life can find something to be as passionate about as Deb is with FIRST, then I’ll probably be alright.
Deb, you have changed this program in ways that I can’t even really fathom, and you did it with such subtle grace and tact that we will remember it for years to come. I know you’re moving on to bigger and better things, but on behalf of myself, my team, and the entirety of this FIRST community you’ve worked so hard to strengthen and build, I would like to officially say thank you.