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JOHNSON & JOHNSON CELEBRATES HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH
Written by Andrea Franco
on January 31, 2019

At work, the 28-year-old Puerto Rican is helping lead GM's development of autonomous vehicles, and in her free time, she teaches high school girls in Detroit how to build robots. "It's the hardest fun I've ever had," said Camps, GM's program engineering manager for autonomous vehicles. Camps formed the all-girls FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics team in the area. FIRST Robotics teams compete in operating the robots they build on a playing field that requires the robot to perform a number of functions. The girls she mentors in FIRST Robotics are Hispanic, and English is their second language. In 2015, Camps was at a GM recruiting event with the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) when she overheard a GM engineer speaking about a chance to volunteer in Detroit and, "change kids' lives through FIRST Robotics." "I had no idea what FIRST Robotics was, but the idea of changing kids' lives drew me in," she said. Camps and her husband, a fellow GM engineer she met at GM during her internships, both signed up to work with the FIRST Robotics team. A year later, Camps formed her all-girls team called Mercy Midnight Storm. There are about 20 girls on the team who range in age from 14 to 18. Most of the girls in the program are from Detroit and don't have the opportunity to work one-on-one with professional engineers to develop their STEM skills. Ten of the girls who've been through her team will graduate high school in June next year and all want to study engineering in college, she said. "You need engineering mentors to be successful," Camps said. "We are there to teach STEM skills and for them it's also like a family." Eight GM engineers besides Camps work with her team. "There are a lot of engineers at GM that are involved in FIRST Robotics," Camps said. "GM is a company that values getting involved in the community."

 

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