Bison Bots On The Move
Written by senior scholar Jaylan Alderman
The reins of prominence have made themselves present once again in the home of the mighty bison. A. H. Parker High School’s robotics team recently embarked on a trip this past spring break, that would change the way they viewed black elevation and success.
Seven of Parker’s Bison Bots spent five days in Detroit, Michigan for the 45th National Society of Black Engineers Conference. The conference’s focus was to bring Black students together to supply them with the tools they need to conquer challenges in a system that wasn’t tailored to their adversities. It was only fitting that the conference was held in Detroit, which is the historic center of the automobile industry.
The journey to the conference was intriguing in its lack of familiarity. Each student that went on the trip had never been to a NSBE conference before, so the experience is one that they’ll value immensely. From the various workshops and sessions they sat in on each day, each student learned something new.
For me, it was the notion that none of my goals are as unattainable as they seem. The entire conference I was surrounded by engineers and successful businesses ran by people that looked like me. I was surrounded by people that were driven to do the same thing as me-succeed and move forward in representing our community in a more deserving way. Everyone at the convention was driven to excel in their career goals and never hesitated to seek advice. The sight of this alone encouraged me to not only produce this atmosphere for myself at home but to also help others understand it. People oftentimes downplay experiences like these when in reality this kind of exposure counts. Knowing about something and physically seeing it take place before your eyes carry different weights. I plan on encouraging more students to join a NSBE chapter, even if they aren’t interested in engineering as a career or field of study. It’s up to our younger generations to continuously shape the world into a better standing. With opportunities such as the one the Bison Robotics Team received, there is no doubt that every young mind will reach its full potential in this world.
The prospective students that embarked on this journey are Russell Allen, Anildre Bennett, Jobere Boucher, Kennard James, Nakiria Thompson, Tren’Darious Thomas, and myself, Jaylan Alderman. They were mentored by the following robotics team supervisors and sponsors: Charity Jackson, Mychal Thomas, Diann Jackson, and The Links, Inc. Birmingham (AL) Chapter. The hard work and dedication that was put into getting setting everything up for the trip should not go unrecognized. Continue to support and build up your local schools as a means of contributing to the likelihood of having more of these opportunities come to our communities. The more expansive we are, the better we are.