W4AQT Gets Runner Up Award


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Congratulations to MARC member Marissa Robledo, W4AQT, for being named as a runner-up for this year’s ARRL Alabama 2018 Outstanding Youth Ham Award. At eleven years old, Marissa has made a number of impressive achievements in amateur radio, school, and the greater community. Her recognition is well-deserved and highlights her bright future.

Eleven-year old Marissa is in the fourth grade at Wilson Elementary. Her grades are exceptional and she is enrolled in the Montgomery County Public School’s QUEST program for gifted students. She soon will be attending Starbase Maxwell, which is a Department of Defense initiated and funded program to inspire student interest in a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) career. She is also a member of the Student Government Association and sings in the school choir, which performs at PTA and community events.

Marissa became interested in ham radio when she joined her dad, Jeff Johns, WE4B, with his handheld Arrow antenna to make contacts with other stations through the satellites. She passed her Technician License exam in April 2017 at the age of ten and recently upgraded to General Class. Doubtless she will soon be passing her Extra Class exam.

Of particular note is a contact she and her dad made with TI2CDA, Charlie, and his daughter, Alyssa, in Costa Rica through the AO-91 satellite early this year. The two young ladies chatted briefly, forming an international friendship and goodwill that will continue into the future and highlighting the father-daughter bonds on both ends of the contact. The experience, which was published on the AMSAT News Service earlier this year, will be of significant benefit as Marissa pursues her scientific interests, as well.

While a Technician licensee, Marissa pushed the boundaries of the license class. By utilizing FM amateur radio satellites, she confirmed contacts in Logbook of the World across the country from California to New York, as well as with stations in Canada, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Mexico and Panama. All were made on VHF/UHF satellite frequencies with a handheld antenna and a five-watt handheld radio.

Since getting her license, Marissa is often on the 146.84 repeater and is a regular on the Friday night Whootie Owl Simplex Net on 147.550 MHz. She is active in Skywarn and has attended National Weather Service Skywarn classes.

Marissa is an excellent ambassador of amateur radio. Despite her young age, she quickly became very active on the air and in public promoting amateur radio. Over the past year she has given many satellite demonstrations at hamfests and for other clubs and groups, and to the public, demonstrating ham radio and its capabilities not only to her peers, but also to adults. She is a member of the ARRL and AMSAT-NA, and is a registered ARRL instructor. She recently signed a model release form for the ARRL and will be in an upcoming League video about women involved with STEM. Marissa is a member of the Montgomery Amateur Radio Club and the Elmore County Amateur Radio Society and has participated in Technician License classes with the latter.

Marissa is a young lady that is truly excited about what she has experienced in her first year of being licensed. Relating easily to older amateurs, through clubs she has gained many” grandfathers,” ”uncles,” “aunts” and friends, and earned the respect of the local ham community. Using satellites, she has multiplied these friendships across the country and to DX locations.

Marissa Robledo is an exceptional young lady with an extremely bright future. Congratulations on her successes, past and future, from all of us in the Montgomery Amateur Radio Club.

Source: Jeff Johns, WE4B