The Payne Elementary School Robotics Club could hardly contain their excitement about their achievement. Inspired by the chance to help others, they built a robot capable of aiding a fellow student with a prosthetic limb.
Their effort earned the win in a citywide robotics tournament and a chance to compete at the VEX Robotics IQ WORLDS Challenge in Louisville, Kentucky. The national tournament gathers top robotics teams to celebrate their accomplishments and participate with the best teams from around the world. For the team – two girls and four boys – it was a chance to compete with their peers and learn more about using their skills to help others.
But the school couldn’t afford the trip, and it looked like they might not be able to go. To cover the costs, teachers and administrators reached out to the PTA for donations, but they still seemed too high. When we learned about the students’ problem, we stepped in to help. We contributed $5,000 to pay the team’s travel expenses and give them the chance to compete.
That type of support doesn’t end with just one school or team. Through our corporate relations team, we were also able to help the Deal Middle School Robotics Club make their way to the national competition. And we are able to offer opportunities like this to many other schools and nonprofits every year.
“It is because of their tenacity and hunger for innovation and learning that they were invited to the national championships,” said Marc Battle, vice president at Pepco. “We're glad to help these great kids follow their dreams.”
In April, the Payne Elementary and Deal Middle School teams traveled to the tournament, joining nearly 600 teams from across the globe. For these talented students, it promised to be the first of many accomplishments.
Our responsibility to our community goes beyond keeping the lights on. It means ongoing support for cultural, civic, educational, environmental, health, safety and business initiatives to enhance the quality of life in our communities. And sometimes it means helping a team of enterprising students take a step closer to their dreams.