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From Home Furnishing Business

Ashley & the Charitable Foundation Contribute to FIRST® Robotics

Ashley Furniture Industries, LLC (Ashley) and Ashley Charitable Foundation (ACF) have made contributions in support of FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics initiatives for the 2023-2024 school year.

Annually, the awarded funds provide area students with hands-on robotics and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education. Since 2017, the organizations’ donations toward FIRST® initiatives have benefitted over 1,250 students in North Carolina, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

In addition to a monetary donation, Ashley provides ongoing support to the Trempealeau County Robotics (TC Robotics) team who compete 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, Wisconsin schools and has been mentored and coached for the past seven years by Ashley employees. The team ended their season as the number one team in Wisconsin and 80th worldwide.

In North Carolina, ACF supported the Queen City Robotics Alliance (QRCA), 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.

"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,” stated Todd Wanek, president and CEO, Ashley Furniture Industries. “We believe in the power of education to unlock limitless potential, and we are proud to support programs that inspire and empower young minds."

The mission of FIRST® is to provide life-changing robotics programs that give young people the skills, confidence and resilience to build a better world. FIRST® prepares young people for the future through a suite of inclusive, team-based robotics programs for ages 4-18 (PreK-12) that can be facilitated in school or in structured after school programs.

"In today's rapidly advancing and highly competitive landscape, STEM education is more important than ever. It is the foundation where innovation, growth and success are built,” stated Ron Wanek, founder and chairman, Ashley Furniture Industries. “We recognize the critical role that STEM plays in preparing individuals for the workforce of tomorrow. STEM education initiatives like FIRST® Robotics hone the talent and passion of the next generation.”

Ashley is proud to continuously support education efforts and create meaningful educational partnerships that add value to our communities. By providing opportunities to these students, they can be prepared for a future filled with possibility, resilience and a drive to build a better world.

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