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Fifty teams from across the state traveled to Lake Washington High School for this year’s Washington State VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) Championship on March 13. Twelve spots were open to teams who wanted to move onto the next big competition. Out of those 12 spots, six teams with LWSD students secured their position at the 2022 VEX Robotics World Championship in Dallas, Texas, May 5-7, 2022.

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    Prepared for anything – ICS student joins national FEMA council


    Shivani Jayaprakasam

    It all started when Shivani Jayaprakasam, rising junior at International Community School (ICS), was on vacation in Japan. A major typhoon struck while there in 2018 and she has been interested in emergency preparedness since. After a few years of hard work, she is now on the national Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) Youth Preparedness Council. She joins 14 other members from across the country dedicated to making sure we are all better prepared for emergencies.

    According to the FEMA website, members are selected based on their dedication to public service, community involvement and potential to increase levels of community resilience throughout the country. FEMA created the council in 2012 to bring together diverse young leaders interested in strengthening disaster preparedness across the nation and within their communities.

    Shivani worked diligently to get this position. The year after her trip to Japan, she attended a FEMA youth preparedness camp. She then spent two years as a co-chair of FEMA’s Region 10 youth preparedness council, which covers Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska. During her time as a co-chair, she would share emergency preparedness information at different events. When COVID-19 hit, she created social media accounts to continue her mission virtually. One post she created talked about three steps for how we can get everyone vaccinated and one step closer to normal. She will represent the same region while serving on the national council and says her next goal is to help communities with at-risk kids prepare for emergencies.

    “Students all know about stop, drop and roll if they’re on fire,” said Shivani. “But if we can incorporate other simple preparedness topics in elementary and middle school curriculums, we can increase youth preparedness and eventually community preparedness, too.” 

    Shivani wants to work in healthcare in the future. Aside from working with FEMA, she helps with blood drives, and even founded a Red Cross Club at ICS. You can view a KING 5 story about Shivani being selected to the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) Youth Preparedness Council on YouTube.