In FCSN Voices’ 2022 GYVers campaign, we are proud to honor the graduating high school seniors who have contributed so much to the success of FCSN’s programs.
Written By Shelley Li, Senior Youth Reporter
Graphics By Katherine Geng, FCSN Voices Graphic Artist
After he was introduced to FCSN by his sister, Irvington High School Senior Kyle Ng began his FCSN journey as a volunteer for FCSN afterschool programs. However, after noticing the lack of STEM opportunities for special needs individuals in Silicon Valley, he decided to use his own experience as a member of a For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Tech Challenge robotics team to teach his own robotics classes at FCSN. Since then, he has gone on to create Serendipity STEM, an organization whose mission is to provide STEM opportunities for underprivileged communities, including that of neurodivergent individuals.
Through Serendipity STEM, Kyle introduced a Train the Trainers Program at FCSN, in which he not only taught STEM subjects and robotics to special education students, but also trained the FCSN staff on coding. At the conclusion of the summer program in 2021, all the students and teachers gathered together at the East Bay FCSN Auditorium to commemorate their accomplishments throughout the course, a memory that Kyle considers one of his proudest moments. “Throughout high school, some organizations come and go, but FCSN has been there all four years, and one of the things that I specifically remember when working with the special needs community is our goal was to create STEM opportunities for special education students,” Kyle said.
However, having little foundation in the coding and robotics field for special needs individuals to refer to, Kyle faced both the challenge of being a student-teacher as well as introducing a relatively novel subject to the special needs community. From the very beginning, Kyle realized that FCSN classes differed immensely from the standard classes he was used to attending — in addition to teaching his curriculum, he had to maintain his audience’s attention. Nevertheless, he quickly adapted, making sure to give every student individual attention during class. It was from such challenges too, that Kyle’s fondest memory blossomed. “I remember a student ran off, and I had to pick him up [and] sit next to him,” Kyle said. “I remember this specifically because we then coded [a project together], and then he just leaned his head on me, and that’s one of the fondest memories I have of FCSN.”
After four years of dedication to the special needs community, Kyle has learned to “count the moments, not the numbers.” For him, volunteering was never about the amount of service hours or a school assignment; it was about extending a helping hand to those underprivileged, about paving the way toward a connected community, and about volunteering because he cares for and loves the special needs individuals he works with. “Those feelings that you get from those moments that you share, whether a student puts their head on your shoulder or you’re standing up in front of a class, [those are the moments when] you don’t just see teachers [or] students, but you see a family. Those are the moments that FCSN has taught me to remember and cherish and count,” Kyle said.
In the last few years, apart from FCSN, Kyle has also made fond memories in robotic competitions, doing Kung Fu, and practicing flower arrangement. In the future, he plans to attend the University of Southern California, where he will continue to pursue his passion in robotics and support the special needs community.