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The Hope Horizon East Palo Alto Churrobots To Compete in Robotics World Championships

Updated: Apr 16

“Other teams were really surprised to hear that there was even a team from East Palo Alto, much less a small team EPA that won a regional. All of this hard work has helped change the impression that people have of our community,”

- A Hope Horizon student during the FIRST Impact Award presentation.  

The Hope Horizon East Palo Alto High School Robotics Team, the Churrobots, celebrate their win at the Silicon Valley Regional Championship, March 3, 2024.
Hope Horizon Churrobots at the Silicon Valley Regional Championship, March 3, 2024.

For the first time since their founding five years ago, the Hope Horizon East Palo Alto Churrobots robotics team 8048, are headed to the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Championships in Houston, Texas on April 17-20, 2024. And thanks to the overwhelming support from the community, they are fully funded! 

The team provides access to robotics where high school students can learn that STEM is fun, be part of a team and develop leadership skills. To prepare for the competition, students design, build and program an industrial-size robot.

The Road to Worlds

On March 3, 2024, The Churrobots won the Silicon Valley Regional Competition, alongside the Blazing Bulldogs of San Jose High School (Team 581) and Citrus Circuits of Davis, California (Team 1678). After the Churrobots qualified for worlds, they realized they needed to raise $40,000 to pay for flights, hotel rooms, food and equipment if they wanted to go to Houston. 

Other teams often pay their expenses through school/parent assistance and connections; but not the Churrobots. To raise the money required, the Churrobots turned to their community. Through social media, local TV appearances and a lot of hard work by the students, families, coaches and staff the Churrobots were fully funded in less than a month.

Despite being in the heart of Silicon Valley, STEM careers are significantly underrepresented in East Palo Alto. The Churrobots are the only FRC team in East Palo Alto, drawing students from over 10 different high schools and coached by local volunteers. The team is made up of almost all students of color, the majority of whom will be first-generation college students. 

This has been a big month for the Hope Horizon Churrobots; in the middle of the fundraiser, the Churrobots went to Sacramento to compete at Central Valley Regional, where the team was able to seed 5th and was captain of the 3rd alliance. Additionally, one student won the Dean’s List Finalist award, which recognizes an individual student’s leadership and demonstration of FIRST core values.

"The Churrobots exemplify the spirit of community collaboration"

- Proclamation by the City of East Palo Alto congratulating the Churrobots

In addition, the City of East Palo Alto issued a proclamation honoring the Churrobots and their contributions to the community. You can read it to the left.

The Churrobots’ story would not have been possible without their teamwork and the support of their coaches, families, community and the Hope Horizon staff.   

Support the Churrobots!

Follow the Churrobots on Instagram to see all their adventures at the World Championships! The content, like the video below, is produced by the students on the team!

We're not done yet!!!! Churrobots and Hope Horizon East Palo Alto Robotics can still use your support.

It takes a lot to run our organization year round. Your support empowers East Palo Alto students to be the next generation of leaders in STEM. Volunteer with our elementary, middle school or high school robotics teams or support our robotics programs with a donation.

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