Allen Gregory, mentor to Spectrum 3847, is truly a man who has become a brother, a father, and a friend to all of our team members. Even though we are not tied by blood, we have all bonded through various tubs of grease, paint, and metal shavings. Not only is he our sponsor; he is our beloved teacher. Allen is continually encouraging our team to move forward with his displays of creativity, inspiration, motivation, explanation of topics, and communication. Allen is constantly working to welcome new students and help participate in joys of math, science, and engineering. He is truly a selfless mentor in his acts of dedication to the students. After all, he gets to the lab an hour before anyone else and leaves three hours after it closes.
Allen is dedicated to the incorporation of all students as team members, so to allow them the true FIRST experience. He recognizes that there is value and talent in everyone. He makes the team feel like a family in his constant efforts to put the needs of the students first. One notable example that comes to mind was the time that a certain student could only go to a meeting if she could come in four hours early. Allen cheerfully went to the lab at that time, because he always puts the needs of his students first.
Allen is also extraordinary in the way that he conveys a sense of strong authority, while never enforcing his title in such a way that we feel resentful. He is a shining, smiling example of patience, loyalty, involvement, encouragement, altruism, and enthusiasm, with a touch of gentle humor that can cheer up the entire team in a stressful time.
Allen makes a strong effort to communicate with the team by sending out daily e-mails (or three), updates the blog daily, and always has his phone on him (and will answer within five to ten minutes). He is always ready to answer any question a student might have, even in the early hours of the morning. When rookie teams email us for help, Allen is the one who enthusiastically answers the more difficult problems we do not know how to answer, and encourages the team to send another email if they need help again.
Allen has always been passionate about engineering, and has communicated this love to us through his long hours, his enthusiasm to help the team, and his dedication to the team. He is driven to incorporate all students by helping them understand different aspects of engineering, whether it be through his eagerly crafted PowerPoint presentations, or scheduling a field trip to a freezer company to show the real life application of engineering. Another one of his efforts to get the team familiar with FIRST was to pull up old challenges from previous years, and asked us all to design a robot that would be able to compete in that competition, and afterwards, showed us the final robot designs that won the regionals.
Despite Allen being our mentor for only one year, he has done more for us than was imaginable. Allen has been there every step on the way as our team has grown, and each student recognizes that he is truly an outstanding individual.