Vaughn Khouri named FIRST Dean’s List finalist

Vaughn Khouri

Vaughn Khouri, Vice Captain of Highlander Robotics, has been selected as a FIRST Dean’s List Finalist and will represent California at the World Championship in Houston later this month. FIRST founder Dean Kamen sponsors The Dean’s List award to highlight outstanding 10th and 11th grade student leaders involved in FIRST’s international robotics competitions. Nominees have demonstrated a commitment to promoting STEM in their communities and shown personal technical expertise and accomplishment. Khouri’s nomination cited his volunteer work mentoring other robotics teams, building STEM curriculum through a non-profit he founded for that purpose, and growing training programs within Highlander Robotics.

“FIRST has become a huge part of my life and a lot of what I do within it is beyond our team” says Khouri. “The award seems to recognize that alongside my leadership on 8033 and it feels incredible to receive it.”

Similar to the National Merit Scholarship Award, there are three levels of FIRST Dean’s List Award students. Semi-Finalists are nominated by an individual team – Highlander Robotics nominated PHS Juniors Vaughn Khouri and Lewy Seiden. After judged interviews, two finalists are selected across all teams in a regional robotics competition. Khouri was named at the Orange County Regional out of semi-finalists from 48 teams. His nomination will now advance to Houston where 10 Dean’s List winners will be selected from roughly 100 finalists on April 19.

“Vaughn is the real deal: he has the vision, the skills and the leadership to be a strong advocate for quality stem education in our community”, says Highlanders Lead Mentor Natalia Feretti. “We are all so proud of him and can’t wait to see what he’ll do with that transformative power.”

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