In grade school, my mom signed me up to participate in this Lego League meeting. My older sister had joined a team and she loved it so my mom thought I would as well. We had a group of 10 kids and four coaches. There was only one of them that I grew close to: Mr. Mehling.
Our team was divided into sections. I was hooked on working on the robot our team had to construct from Legos. But along with that, I had to program it, which I had no knowledge of how to do. Mr. Mehling came to the rescue. He taught me how to program our robot and helped us to improve our skills. He opened the door of engineering and computer science. He worked with us when we struggled but never just told us the answers. He taught me the valuable life lesson of thinking through a problem instead of immediately asking for help when I felt stuck.
Even as we passed on to larger projects, he stayed with us, helping in any way he could. When we moved to a larger robot with different programming languages, he taught us and learned with us. He worked with us on new assemblies and helped us to think through the logic behind any prototypes of attachments or any code. He even continues to help my little sister’s team after I moved on to the other robotics programs. He shows how genuine he is and how he wants to help; it is admirable.
To me, he wasn’t just a coach, he was a friend. He made it easy and fun to learn and work hard on things we were passionate about. He always has a fun-loving attitude and showed that he truly cared and wanted us to learn and succeed. He was there when we needed him and sought out to teach us new things. I felt comfortable around him; he was approachable and friendly. We would crack jokes and fool around and somehow get work done at the same time.
After competitions, the team would go out to eat and he made the environment fun and enjoyable even if we might not have performed at our best. He taught us to have fun in the face of failure and to appreciate the experience rather than the reward.
Mr. Mehling has been an impactful friend in my life and has taught me so much about engineering. He opened doors that I had no idea about and he has pushed me to study engineering and computer science. For that, I thank you.
Thank you for always being there to help and showing me how to get to the answers myself instead of fixing my mistakes. Thank you for helping me grow as a person and as a student. Thank you for being my mentor and my friend.