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March 30, 2022

Brooke Oleson: FIRST Scholarship Recipient

An extracurricular experience in high school led to a scholarship and career preparation skills.  

Brooke Oleson, an elementary education major from St. Joseph, Michigan, first heard about Saginaw Valley State University after her brother and father came to SVSU for the FIRST State Robotics Competition in 2018. 

Brooke attended a Cardinal College Day and an admissions representative told her that FIRST scholarship opportunities were available, which sealed the deal. She received the 2019 FIRST Robotics Scholarship to attend SVSU and quickly became involved with a number of registered student organizations. 

“I have been president and treasurer of an organization dedicated to female empowerment and multicultural education, treasurer for the gender-inclusive service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, a tour guide for SVSU Admissions and one of the orientation coordinators for SVSU's Orientation Programs.” 

 experiences showed her that it is important to rely on the people around you just as much as they rely on you. 

“SVSU does a lot to make sure their students are growing professionally in a safe environment to fail and grow.” 

Brooke is using the skills she learned during her FIRST experience in her classroom fieldwork. 

“Being able to communicate with people at various levels was essential with FIRST. Using fancy language to show off how much you knew didn't benefit anyone--just like in education. Being able to use language with my students that they will understand is essential for them to learn.” 

“The skill of time management is something all FIRST Robotics students know. Only having six weeks to prepare for a competition is not a lot of time, but we made it work every year. Preparing lessons and making sure those lessons are the appropriate time length is vital for teaching. I don't get more time than my allotted class time, so time management is huge.” 

Brooke is excited to volunteer at the FIRST in Michigan state finals this year at SVSU. 

She has started her classroom fieldwork and is excited to start student teaching. Oleson expects to graduate in May 2023. 

“I love every second I am on campus and the opportunities that SVSU provides me. No matter where I go, I feel like I belong at SVSU.”