At JRA we strive to be an inclusive, energetic and collaborative environment that upholds the core values of FIRST including; friendly sportsmanship, respect for others, teamwork, learning and building community. Through the efforts of the FIRST Community, students have the opportunity to express the philosophies of Gracious Professionalism

Gracious Professionalism is the highest remarked belief and ideal of the FIRST Community. The term Gracious Professionalism was coined by Dr. Woodie Flowers who was the EAB Chair Emeritus & Distinguished Advisor at FIRST (1943-2019). Gracious Professionalism is “the way of doing things that encourages our community to produce high quality work while emphasizing the value of others’ individual respect and the community”. 

We all know that FIRST inspires fierce competitions to take place among teams. However, Gracious Professionalism has taught young students to learn and compete like crazy while ensuring they treat one another with respect and kindness. From these ideals, JRA members have developed many skills to add to society and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that they have acted with integrity and sensitivity in difficult situations. 

STEM History in the U.S.

JRA practices the ideals of being a Gracious Professional by showing good sportsmanship with other teams, positively collaborating with teammates, creating beneficial mentor relationships and effectively spreading awareness of the values of FIRST and JRA through outreach. 

Our members accept that Gracious Professionalism is a broad and open idea, from here we encourage the JRA Community to figure out how it should be implemented. JRA teams have created amazing opportunities to express these ideals through working with other JRA teams, mentorships and outreach programs. 

During the 2020-2021 season the Galactic Robogeese met with the Atomic Narwhals as the Robogeese were struggling with how to score points. The Narwhals were able to assist the Robogeese with helping them think about creating a simpler grabber to get the wobble goal over the wall. Through our two teams developing their Gracious Professionals skills, our Community was able to come together to problem solve. Ultimately the Galactic Robogeese were able to increase their next competition score by 40 points! 

Also during this past season the Atomic Narwhals met with the Disco Duckbots to help them think about using ecodes on the shooters to make the task more reliable. The Disco Duckbots were able to learn about how they structure their intake overall to make the intake more efficient. 

JRA teams came together to meet at an FTC Virtual Pit where our members learned about grabber arms that have a shoulder and an elbow to make a robot more flexible as well as information on additional sensors including, Rev 2m Distance Sensor. From this meeting our teams were able to apply this knowledge to enhance their teams’ robots and work together to solve any issues. 

Gracious Professionalism Benefits JRA

We can all agree that learning about the ideals of being a Gracious Professional is crucial to the individual and team success of being a part of the FIRST Community. From some of the examples of our teams working closely together and outreach, they were able to benefit from each other’s experiences. As a Community we always strive to help one another, through the good and the bad. 

We’d love to hear from new individuals about their experiences as a Gracious Professional in their field! Contact us today about becoming a mentor or to set up an outreach program.