Sophomore Veloso Recharges Robotics Team


Sara Omer

Sophomore Isabel Veloso, leading a Robotics meeting in room 60.

For Isabel Veloso, sophomore year was supposed to be her year to meet new people, and experience challenges she hadn’t before—and as the new captain of the 2374 Crusaderbots, she’s doing just that.

When she applied for the position back in July, Veloso wasn’t expecting to beat out the rising juniors and seniors. In fact, she hadn’t applied to be captain at all.

“I applied to be production lead, or research head,” Veloso said. “Lisette asked me if I could be captain.”

The team’s new coach, class of 2018 Lisette Wilhelm, was in charge of picking the administration team for this season. Despite the array of veterans on the team, there was a dearth of captain applications—a team without a leader. Veloso stepped up to the challenge.

Prior to robotics, the only leadership experience Veloso had was volunteer work, and helping out at the martial arts studio she attends. Under her leadership, however, the team is thriving. With the yearly club fair just passing, the sign ups Robotics Club has received are record breaking.

“We got 127 signups for robotics this year, which is ten percent of the student body, which I think is insane,” Velososaid.

Senior Paul Delos Reyes has been a member of the team since he was a freshman. Now, he’s Head of Marketing under Veloso’s direction.

“Our Captain has done a great job of organizing our rookies–and also organizing our elite team,” Delos Reyes said.

The 2022-2023 competition season starts October 15th with Girls Gen, a competition centered on showcasing girls’ skills.

Despite previously having female captains, this is the first time in years the Crusaderbots are participating in Girls Gen, with Veloso spearheading the effort. With the influx of sign ups, Veloso hopes to have enough girls for an all-girl competition team.

So far, the biggest challenge for Veloso has been figuring out what to do. With a new coach establishing new traditions, and the previous captain off in college, she’s had to figure out what being captain means on her own terms. Communicating with everyone that she needs to has been a struggle, but Veloso’s been working hard to make sure it all goes well.

Speaking of communication, that’s another one of her goals this year. Established by Coach Wilhelm during her tenure at Jesuit, is the ‘captain’s log’, an illustrious and all encompassing document full of information about the club and how it runs. Its main purpose is to aid the admin team, and ensure a smooth passing of the torch. This year, it’s being brought back, and it’s up to Veloso to update it.

When she isn’t working on the captain’s log, or leading club meetings, Veloso enjoys listening to music, hanging out with friends, and playing volleyball. She also practices martial arts, and is involved in Asian Student Union.