Ashley classroom for Queen City Robotics Alliance

Ashley contributions supporting FIRST initiatives, STEM programs

ADVANCE, N.C. – Ashley Furniture Inds. and Ashley Charitable Foundation have made contributions in support of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics initiatives for the 2023-2024 school year, supporting programs for schools in North Carolina, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Annually, the awarded funds provide hands-on robotics and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education, benefitting more than 1,250 students since 2017.

“Education is the catalyst that propels us towards a brighter future. By investing in initiatives like FIRST Robotics and providing hands-on STEM education, we are equipping the next generation with the skills they need to succeed in an ever-evolving workforce,” said Todd Wanek, president and CEO, Ashley. “We believe in the power of education to unlock limitless potential, and we are proud to support programs that inspire and empower young minds.”

In addition to a monetary donation, Ashley provides ongoing support to the Trempealeau County Robotics team, which competes head-to-head with robots they have designed, built and programmed throughout the year. TC Robotics is comprised of high school students from Arcadia, Cochrane-Fountain City and Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau, Wis., schools and has been mentored and coached for the past seven years by Ashley employees.

Ashley classroom for Queen City Robotics Alliance

In North Carolina, ACF supported the Queen City Robotics Alliance, an organization that provides students with mentorship and programs that focus on skill-based learning and technology. The donated funds will grow the local FIRST Robotics team and give area students an opportunity for competitive learning experiences.  ​

​Also, Ashley sponsored the N.C. State Pack Motorsports Baja, a student-run engineering design club that builds and designs Baja vehicles to compete in collegiate competitions presented by the Society of Automotive Engineers.

Ashley sponsors the N.C. State Pack Motorsports Baja
Ashley sponsors the N.C. State Pack Motorsports Baja

“Through participation in the Baja SAE series, the N.C. State Pack Motorsports Baja Club provides students with invaluable experiences and teaches them essential skills,” said Bill Webb, automation manager, Ashley. “Ashley’s support of the club contributes to the personal growth and professional development of these students, recognizing the significance of hands-on learning and the skills necessary for success in diverse career paths.”

​See also:

  • Wanek Foundation takes STEM initiatives to new heights
  • Ashley and foundation 2023 donation supports robotics education

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