Every now and then something happens that pushes people to achieve some pretty incredible things. It happened to Steve Rousseau – your average eighth grade student at Saint-Henri High – except he wasn’t exactly making the honor-roll each semester. His dyslexia made that kind of tough and school wasn’t his priority until he heard about the FIRST International Robotics Competition.
The FIRST International Robotics competition sparked his interest and motivated Steve to join – and eventually lead – Saint-Henri’s team to create a soccer-playing robot and show off its stuff during the Toronto competition where they won the award for perseverance. It was the first time public schools from the Montreal area competed in the FIRST competition. Not a bad finish for some first-timers!
Steve worked on the robot every day after school and on weekends, and when the team finally got to Toronto, their robot exceeded regulation size by one centimeter. The team managed to enter their robot thanks to Steve’s quick thinking and some minor mods.
It’s fair to say the competition gave Steve a reason to try a little harder at school and a reason to care about his future now that he saw what it might hold. His grades have since improved and he won’t be dropping out anytime soon.
To read the original article that appeared in La Presse, follow the link below. The web page also includes a video interview with Steve and the Youth Fusion-sponsored university student that helped the kids on the project.