Me and Dean Kamen 2014 FIRST World ChampionshipsIt was the night of Roboprom and it was raining, so Exploding Bacon was shuttling the students to Roboprom in a van. I was in the last group, and while waiting for the van to return, Dean Kamen walked by. He did not have time at the moment, but he soon returned, and after I said, “Hello,” he told me that he liked my pig ears. We talked for a good long while: about my age, college and scholarships (he told me to apply for the Bart Kamen scholarship) and he continued to talk to me even though other FIRST students wanted his attention.

Then he told me about why he was there in the lobby: he was meeting a lady who owned several tech companies as well as a makeup company. This lady was Lynn Tilton.

Dean wants more girls in FIRST, and he felt that a partnership with a makeup company would help. He asked me my opinion, and I told him that I thought the partnership would be good; it would help girls get involved because when they buy their makeup from her company, they will discover that they sponsor FIRST, will learn more and then join.

Me, Dean Kamen and Lynn TiltonDean then told me, “I want you to talk to her.”

So I waited for Ms. Tilton to arrive, and in the meantime other people talked to Dean, got his signature (including our Club Lead), and then I asked if he would sign my pig ear. He obliged and I now have my very own pair of Dean Kamen signed pig ears.

Dean Kamen signing my pig earsWhen Ms. Tilton arrived, Dean ushered me over to talk to her. I shared my opinion with her and she told me about her belief that women should not have to choose between brains and beauty, and that women need to be compassionate to each other.

After Ms. Tilton and I talked, Dean came over and said to me, “Thank you. You’ve helped me more than you know.”