VirginiaFIRST
8177 Mechanicsville Turnpike
Mechanicsville VA 23111
Mission Statement

VirginiaFIRST is the Virginia-based affiliate of US FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a non-profit international educational mentoring organization. VirginiaFIRST promotes FIRST's mission to: 

·        inspire young people to be science and technology leaders by engaging them in exciting team-based, mentor-based programs that build skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM);

·        promote the spirit of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship;

·        foster well-rounded life capabilities;

·        help today's youth acquire the knowledge and skills needed to compete in the technologically-driven global economy;

·        encourage students (ages 6-18) to pursue studies in the sciences, engineering and technology at the college, graduate and post-graduate levels leading to careers in related technical fields.


It is a goal of VirginiaFIRST to make FIRST’s programs available to all Virginia youth.
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Stanford Southworth
Board Chair Mr. Scott McKay
Board Chair Company Affiliation Genworth
Contact Information
Address 8177 Mechanicsville Turnpike
Mechanicsville, VA 23111
Telephone 804 277-3506
E-mail info@virginiafirst.org
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2007
Financial Summary
 
 
Projected Revenue $1,373,000.00
Projected Expenses $1,369,251.00
Statements
Mission

VirginiaFIRST is the Virginia-based affiliate of US FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a non-profit international educational mentoring organization. VirginiaFIRST promotes FIRST's mission to: 

·        inspire young people to be science and technology leaders by engaging them in exciting team-based, mentor-based programs that build skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM);

·        promote the spirit of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship;

·        foster well-rounded life capabilities;

·        help today's youth acquire the knowledge and skills needed to compete in the technologically-driven global economy;

·        encourage students (ages 6-18) to pursue studies in the sciences, engineering and technology at the college, graduate and post-graduate levels leading to careers in related technical fields.


It is a goal of VirginiaFIRST to make FIRST’s programs available to all Virginia youth.
Impact

VirginiaFIRST strives to expose more youth to the excitement of science and technology and the role both will play in their future.  To achieve this, we use a dual approach: establish more FIRST programs in communities and generate more outreach activities so additional youth may benefit. VirginiaFIRST embraces FIRST programs to bridge the opportunity gap.

This year we:

1.   Expanded the Robot Road Show, a travelling STEM-related project, from pilot to established program, and increased this hands-on activity to impact a greater number of students.

2.   Increased the participation in FTC program by more than 100% and engaged many students from schools and after-school programs in underserved and under-resourced communities.

3.   Continued the Show and Tell/You Can Do it Too! This program encourages high school youth to participate in community outreach and serve as role models to younger students. High school team members receive training in presentation and public speaking and share their experience of being involved in FIRST with students in feeder middle schools and after-school programs. 

4.   Continued the STEM Field Trip project which includes at-risk students from underserved communities and to give them an opportunity to see science and technology in use by peers.

 5. Expanded Regional FIRST Tech Challenge Competitions by 40% to offer more opportunities for middle and high school students to participate in organized robotics competitions.
 

 

Plans for the upcoming year include:

1.   Further expansion of the Robot Road Show, STEM Field Trip, and Show and Tell activities.

2.   Expansion of our FIRST Mentor Training pilot across the Commonwealth. This training gives community volunteers insight on how best to work with a FIRST team.

3.   Expansion of our FIRST Information Sessions to organizations and companies across the state to cultivate and attract additional mentors and volunteers. Students on FIRST teams benefit from technical and non-technical skills gained through interaction with mentors.

4.   Expansion of partnerships to secure resources for both programs (workshops, training, outreach activities) and team support.

5. Implementation of a statewide competition model that will allow FIRST robotics to manage more sanctioned events. This model will allow more students an opportunity to compete throughout the Commonwealth.
Needs

Since 1999, thousands of Virginia students have had the opportunity to learn ‘by doing’ in a unique “sport for the mind.” Increasing our community outreach efforts, recruiting additional volunteers and team mentors, providing more training and workshop opportunities, and launching FIRST programs in more under-resourced communities with at-risk students are top priorities. We have identified the following critical needs:

 

1.   Programs: $20,000: laptops, materials and technical supplies and equipment to support programs and activities as we move FTC and FRC programs into new communities.

3.   Designated team support - $76,000: initiate or support FIRST teams, distributed according to need for registration, parts, tools, materials.

4.   Outreach Activities - $10,000: travel, conference costs, equipment maintenance.

5.   Workshops, Information Sessions and Mentor Training - $8,000: trainers, materials, logistics, travel.

Background

FIRST was founded in 1989 by inventor/ entrepreneur Dean Kamen, with support from national business/education leaders. Its purpose is to: address the challenges of student engagement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics; make learning applicable and fun for students; provide real-world career applications of classroom learning; attract young women and minority youth to STEM careers; and to provide today's students with the skills necessary to take their places in the 21st Century workplace.

 

FIRST offers a seamless pipeline of programs for students in grades K through 12. The Jr. FIRST LEGO League (6-9 year olds), FIRST LEGO League (9-14 year olds), FIRST Tech Challenge (middle and high school), FIRST Robotics Competition (high school) follow students up the educational ladder and into the workforce. On the surface, FIRST is an exercise in designing, building, and competing with a robot. In reality, FIRST offers year-long activities that keep students engaged in learning, leading, and expanding their horizons.

In all FIRST programs, teams (students, mentors, parents and teachers) receive identical technical challenges, and collections of parts and materials, and have limited time to devise a solution. Students organize into project teams, and take on responsibilities such as building, programming, marketing, and management. These project teams resemble the dynamics of a small company. All FIRST programs culminate in an exciting competition, which is a celebration of innovation, achievement, teamwork, community involvement, and technical expertise.

Virginia welcomed FIRST to the state in 1999 and, in 2007, VirginiaFIRST was established as the official regional non-profit affiliate organization of FIRST. Its mission is to provide FIRST’s innovative STEM-based opportunities for Virginia students. VirginiaFIRST, guided by its Foundation and Advisory Board, administers the FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Robotics Competition programs for middle and high school students. In addition, VirginiaFIRST promotes all of FIRST’s pipeline of programs in the Commonwealth. We work closely with industry, academic, and business partners to develop resources for our participating teams so that they can hone their technical, leadership, and life skills.

VirginiaFIRST has been recognized in a proclamation by the General Assembly and has received two awards for its impact on youth in the Commonwealth.

 

CEO Statement

FIRST is a highly regarded participant in the STEM arena. This visibility opens doors to national business, education and community leaders, and attracts a cadre of volunteers with a commitment to its mission. Our national organization has documented success in changing lives and impacting career decisions, and VirginiaFIRST is building its own success story.

FIRST is unique among organizations bringing STEM-related opportunities to youth, by offering a continuum of age-appropriate programs for 6-18 year olds that build upon skill sets and concepts in a culture of teamwork, mentor relationships, and cooperation among competitors. Our programs use robots as a “hook” to attract students from a broad spectrum of talents and interests, many of whom have never participated on a competition team of any kind. Being part of a team is valued in the workplace. Ultimately, FIRST is about a brighter future for all youth.

Also distinctive is FIRST’s tremendous support structure, which includes partners from a wide range of corporations, technical organizations, colleges and universities. Over $15 million in scholarships is targeted at students on FIRST teams, as well as research and internship opportunities.

FIRST gives us our “culture” of collaboration and cooperation, and provides the brand, programming, and infrastructure of support. VirginiaFIRST has taken these attributes and layered in its own distinguishing features. 

1.    We have established a FIRST Alumni Association across Virginia. Many of our program leaders are FIRST Alumni, mentors, and/or parents, who understand the culture of FIRST and have helped us to develop the training and hands-on activities to reach an increased number of volunteers and youth.

2.    Our VirginiaFIRST Ambassadors, key supporters and advocates, help us promote FIRST programs around the state.

4.    We partner and collaborate with organizations such as Virginia Manufacturers Association, regional technology councils, and the Science Museum of Virginia to focus on workforce development, career opportunities, and to share resources and outreach.

5.    VirginiaFIRST personnel spend much of their time training, demonstrating, exhibiting, and in outreach activities with FIRST students and robots. This gives teams and volunteers a pro-active role in an interactive format to learn new skills and develop talents in presentation and public speaking.

Areas of Service
Areas Served
Area
Statewide
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Scott McKay
Company Affiliation Genworth
Term Jan 2007 to Dec 2017
Email Mary.Nelson@genworth.com
Board of Directors
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Mr. Mark Allen DuPont Teijin Films
Ms. Sheryl Alston-Bryan Closure Systems International
Dr. Denyse Carroll SPARK
Mr. Paul Chi Booz Allen Hamilton
Mr. Hans De Koning Flexicell
Mr. Robby Demeria RichTech
Mr Michael Duncan Donnachaidh Associates
Mr. Steve Gaidos Captech
Dr. Gulu Gambhir SAIC
Mr. Andrew Glowatsky Church and Dwight
Ms. Amy Harris Northern Virginia Community College
Dr. Rosalyn Hobson Hargraves VCU
Dr. John E. Karaffa ProSport CPA
Mr. James Kresge Capital One
Ms. Stephanie Lockhart Lockheed Martin Corporation
Mr. Josh Long Bechtel
Ms. Lyn McDermid Dominion
Mr. Scott McKay Genworth Financial
Dr. Dean Roberts Rolls-Royce
Mr. Jeff Seaton NASA
Mr. Brian Snodgrass Nortrop Grumman Information Systems
Ms. Toiya Sosa GEICO
Ms. Zuzana Steen Micron
Mr. Robert Stolle Center for Integrated Technology
Mr. Nick Swayne JMU
Dr. Martha Walker Virginia Cooperative Extension Services
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 2
Caucasian 12
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 9
Female 5
Governance
Board Meeting Attendance % 70
Written Board Selection Criteria? Under Development
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 70
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 2
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Executive Director
Executive Director Mr. Stanford Southworth
Experience
Stan Southworth is a native of Richmond and the Executive Director for VirginiaFIRST.  Previously, Stan served as the Executive Director for the Partnership for Families and Partnership for Families Foundation, Chief Operating Officer for Presbyterian Homes and Family Services as well as holding a variety of leadership and operational roles with Bank of America and its predecessors.  Stan holds a 
bachelor’s degree in Economics from Hampden-Sydney College and is a member of the Leadership Metro Richmond class of 2012.  He enjoys serving the community as a Scoutmaster and Kiwanis Club member.  Stan is married to Jennie and they make their home in Hanover County with their two sons.
Senior Staff
NameTitle
Ms. Leighann Scott Boland Director of Development
Mr. Glen Davis Logistics Coordinator
Ms. Samantha Ellis Director of Operations
Ms. Denise Lewis FRC Program Director- East
Ms. Dee Tomczak Director of Community Engagement
Staff
Full Time Staff 6
Part Time Staff 3
Volunteers 200
Contractors 9
Retention Rate 100
Plans
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Under Development
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Programs
Description
FIRST Robotics Challenge - STEM and Leadership-based robotics program for high school students.
 
FIRST Tech Challenge - for middle and high school students, a more affordable alternative to the FRC program
 
Peer to Peer Show and Tell/You Can Do It, Too! - a mentoring program that brings together high school mentors and middle school students from at-risk communities over robotics and hands-on activities. The purpose of this program is to create positive role models, build bridges within the community, and foster a love of science.
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Budget $480,000.00
Long Term Success
By introducing children to interactive STEM-learning, we are creating a new generation of leaders and technologists. Starting early funnels children into the STEM-pipeline that fast-tracks them to future careers in the technology field. FIRST program alumni are now employed by such well-known organizations as NASA, and more local by businesses such as Dominion and Genworth.
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $1,373,000.00
Projected Expenses $1,369,251.00
Spending Policy N/A
Form 990s
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$424,213--$358,944
Government Contributions$75,000$0$75,000
Federal$75,000--$75,000
State------
Local------
Unspecified------
Individual Contributions$155,218$673,890$150,790
------
$57,590$41,948$71,347
Investment Income, Net of Losses$133$183$255
Membership Dues------
Special Events------
Revenue In-Kind------
Other------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$683,908$506,729$456,107
Administration Expense$155,899$99,783$91,350
Fundraising Expense$102,449$87,680$78,861
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.761.031.05
Program Expense/Total Expenses73%73%73%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue16%13%13%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$338,864$534,755$547,290
Current Assets$338,864$534,755$547,290
Long-Term Liabilities$0----
Current Liabilities$36,784$2,573$35,937
Total Net Assets$302,080$532,182$511,353
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities9.21207.8315.23
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit 11/2016View
Comments
Organization Comments
VirginiaFIRST is current with all files related to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Documentation for the current year's solicitation permit is being processed and will be posted on this site upon receipt.
Foundation Comments
  • Form 990 and financial statements prepared internally by the organization
  • Financial information provided by the Form 990, with supplemental information provided by the financial statements