There are only a handful of people in your lifetime who will impact you in a deeply significant way. Saikiran Ramanan is, undoubtedly, one of those individuals.
Saikiran’s natural openness and enthusiasm is infectious, earning respect and trust from all team members. His bubbly and approachable personality is why students are comfortable coming to him with all their questions, knowing he will go above and beyond to explore new ideas and encourage out of the box thinking. He pushes us to arrive at solutions ourselves with thought-provoking questions, while making sure our ideas are valued. He puts his whole heart into involving everyone, creating a team culture based on improvement and excellence.
When Saikiran began mentoring Code Orange in 2014 as a freshman in college, he revolutionized our technical capabilities. He transformed our scouting team by leading us to build a web-based scouting system. Furthermore, he guided students to create an electrical curriculum, a valuable resource for us and nearly 75 other FRC teams. As drive coach, he taught drivers to keep a level head, earning us a division win in 2018. Saikiran surpasses the expectations of a FIRST mentor. He makes a 2 hour commute just to come to our workshop. He has also recruited eight new mentors to join our team. When our head mentor moved, Saikiran stepped up with confidence. As a direct result of Saikiran’s mentorship over the last six years, 3476 earned 14 engineering awards, two regional wins, and three Championship Division wins.
Beyond his contributions to Code Orange, Saikiran’s influence extends far into the FIRST community. Saikiran volunteered to be a board member of the Orange County Robotics Alliance (OCRA), a coalition of 17 FIRST Robotics teams who host events, workshops, competitions, and outreach events. In his role, Saikiran utilizes Code Orange to publicize and volunteer for OCRA. At Beach Blitz, SoCal’s premier off-season competition, Saikiran planned 39 workshops for the competition. He also acts as a liaison between neighboring teams and our practice field, sharing Code Orange resources with 20 other FRC teams. Saikiran’s impact is not limited to FRC. At our yearly FLL tournament, he plays a major part in planning the event and volunteers as our head referee. As the face of Code Orange, Saikiran’s network solidifies our team in the FIRST community.
In the last year, Saikiran overcame immense personal challenges, including the unexpected loss of his mother, yet you’ll always see him with his usual smile. As a young man and FIRST alumni, Saikiran is with Code Orange through thick and thin, the unwavering champion of our team, and the representative of everything we stand for. His commitment to the team has remained steadfast throughout the past six years, making sure each student has a voice, learns every day, and has fun in the process.”Saikiran is more than a mentor, he is my family and I will never forget what he’s taught me.”