East West

Kelli Van Antwerp is a mentor loved by all. Her knowledge gained by her FIRST experience led to a passion for technology in media and design. “She’s got a unique perspective based on her experiences and wants to share those with the team” -Dan Green. Using her superior video and picture editing talents, she works with companies to create media for international venues and arenas. Her unwavering commitment to FIRST keeps her coming back year after year to spread STEM to students globally. Kelli mentors WildStang and Lights Out, she contributes to the Hall of Fame board, and is the President of the Illinois FIRST Alumni Association. 

Kelli was a student with WildStang for a FRC Championship win and worked to create a winning a Championship Chairman’s submission. She returned as a mentor to revamp the entire media program. “Kelli is committed to keeping us on task to achieve our goals and connects us to the inner workings of what FIRST has to offer.” -Drew S. 

Her video productions are displayed throughout the world during FRC events. This year, she is making 30+ videos for the Midwest Regional to show the audience how the game is played. Her work with White Dwarf Productions includes shooting and editing footage for new Hall of Fame videos, and she also shot footage used in the Slingshot Movie, 

which told of a device that helps 3rd world countries purify water for safe drinking. She uses her job experience and teaches us how to be as successful as she is by using her real world talents. She teaches the WildStang Media team invaluable skills to communicate to FIRST and to our local community what WildStang does.

Kelli is the embodiment of FIRST. Her coffee addiction fuels her FIRST addiction, and those who know her have come to expect the sight of that Starbucks cup. She has high expectations of her students, and works side by side with other mentors to assure that students have the tools they need to be successful. “Kelli guides the students through essential learning, and teaches them how to put it together to create amazing videos. She engages students to make sure they have the best experience.” Mentor EJ Levine. With her guidance, WildStang students won the 2017 Championship FedEx Challenge which helped us obtain a new camera for the team. Kelli and media students have been involved with animations that are shown onscreen at Championship events such as “Math Dance” featuring Dean and Woodie. 

Over the past 15 years of her involvement with the team she has made WildStang a unique experience for anyone that connects with us. Kelli has inspired students, alumni, and mentors alike. “When Kelli walks into any room, her smile and personality is infectious among all team members” Steven E. With help from Kelli, we have the ability to spread the mission of WildStang and FIRST to the world. While she teaches us to show people what WildStang is, she also teaches us to work hard, never give up, and have a cup of coffee once in a while so we can take on the world.