Unassuming beginning though she had, she has worked her way up to be someone great. She joined the FIRST community in 2015, and in her 4 years of toil Jaci has made a name for herself among FIRST members around the world. Her enthusiasm for the program influences everyone she meets, encouraging people around her, lending experience, and earning respect in every situation she is faced with.
Through her 4 years of FIRST, Jaci has mentored many FIRST and non-FIRST teams. She is lead mentor for both 5333 and 5663 (Curtin FRC), and she is always willing to help in any area that she can. Many teams around the globe have asked for Jaci’s help on several occasions, and she enjoys being involved in finding solutions. She has posted a video recording of a Vision Tracking Master Class she did on a public call as a resource for anyone to use, and her influence has spread all through the world.
Jaci continues to teach members of Curtin FRC every day. Jaci pushes to let flourish through doing wonderous things they normally would not consider, or are beyond their comfort zones. By checking in on individual members of her teams, Jaci is able to tweak situations to maximise learning and enjoyment, ensuring that we are always in a position to aid us.
Starting in 2015, Jaci began creating Toast, a software that allows teams around the world to easily split their code. In 2017, she further developed Toast into Gradle, allowing teams to organise code and gather different libraries. The accessibility of this software allows teams to send any code to the RoboRio. This resulted the 2018 announcement of GradleRIO’s adoption in the official build system for Java and C++ teams, helping 76% of registered FRC teams around the world, all thanks to the human reincarnation of the words “Gracious Professionalism”, Jaci Brunning.
Jaci recognised early on that in Western Australia (WA) we are faced with a unique challenge, as the distance between teams makes it difficult to get together and easily access competitions. In 2017, Jaci led Curtin FRC to run FLL competitions for teams all around WA to participate in. This proved more challenging than expected, as the distance between us and the furthest FLL team is as long as the main island of Japan! Despite the challenges she has faced, Jaci never gave up, and in 2018 she assisted Curtin FRC in running a 4th competition in partnership with Team 6524.
In 2018, Jaci pushed students of Curtin FRC to host and run two FTC events, allowing the first 23 FTC teams to form in WA. With Jaci’s influence, we made it happen. She has helped many FIRST teams around WA and globally, but the time and effort Jaci puts into FIRST reaches ever further.
There are many more things that Jaci has done that the character limit does not allow detail of. Her efforts have impacted all around her, and the entirety of Curtin FRC has agreed that “She is an inspiration to our teams, and truly needs to be recognised as the amazing mentor she is.”