Now juniors in high school, Yariselle Andujar and Daniela Moreno have found a way to use their robotics skills to make a difference for those around them and abroad. The two best friends joined the robotics team their freshman year at Davis Aerospace and Maritime High School and began working with 3D printers. Soon after they realized the impact they could make was much greater and it ignited an idea.
As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we recognize the contributions of Hispanic individuals like Yariselle and Daniela, who exemplify the power of innovation, compassion, and community involvement. Their story was recently featured in an article by Lizzie Hyman for People magazine.
“We were trying to figure out how we could impact our community as a first-year robotics team,” Yariselle said. “What do we have to provide to our community? We later thought of the idea of using 3D printers to make prosthetic parts, like hands. We figured out that it’s lightweight, but very strong.”
The team worked with humanitarian nonprofit, IMAHelps, and received assistance from the Great Lakes Science Robotics Initiative as they began their first prototype for a 12-year-old girl in Ecuador. Having tragically lost her arm in an accident, the girl received a prosthetic built from the prototype and it has helped her to write. The original prototype was also displayed at a high school fair where it prompted the team to make another prosthetic for free.
Earlier this year in July the team even returned to Ecuador to deliver four more prosthetics to those in need. Their dedication showcases the importance of extending a helping hand beyond borders and cultural boundaries, a message that resonates strongly during Hispanic Heritage Month.
As teenagers themselves, the girls emphasize that anyone is more than capable of making a significant impact on their community even through seemingly small actions. “You can do whatever you want to do when it comes to helping people and changing the world,” Yariselle said. “There are no limits or age restrictions.”