Faces of STEM ™

Adriana is earning a bachelors in Mechanical Engineering at Cal State LA

My career goal is to work as a mechanical systems engineer for space and defense company, but my ultimate goal is to add to the progressive image of a female engineer. For the past two summers, I have had the opportunity to begin my engineering endeavor by interning at Raytheon. During my internship, I worked in the mechanical engineering department under structural analysis and special tooling equipment. Those summers felt so perfect, being in my field of choice, creating and designing different engineering tasks, and feeling the excitement of work. But there was one thing missing, there was no one else like me. At the department level there were other women, but very few of color, and zooming in closer to most section meetings I was the only girl in the room. If I were to have listened to my college counselor I would not even be studying engineering, as she said I was not going to succeed in STEM. Since then I have moved on from her words- I successfully stayed on the dean’s list during my first year of college, established a strong network within my administration, and landed an internship in my field. When I graduate I want to be able and serve as an example for other girls, reminding them that with hard work, perseverance, grit, and resilience they can defy all social constructs.

Amy is earning a bachelors in Computer Science at Cal State LA

STEM Advantage is a wonderful opportunity to connect more women in the field. We need to help and support one another if we want to attain gender parity and economic equity. I want to help the organization achieve these kinds of goals. I have always believed that my experiences matter if I can use them to help another person going through a similar ordeal. I am considering becoming a professor or a teacher after exploration in my career. I feel teaching might be the best way for me to give back to other women and underserved communities. I want to mentor other students and provide the guidance I was missing when I was younger.

Yemi is earning a bachelors in Computer Science at Cal Poly Pomona

I’m the first generation in my family to be born in America. I’m using my locational advantage and getting the education I want. My computer science major will allow me to fulfill my goal of developing software that will make life easier for others. The STEM advantage program will bring about opportunities for internships and scholarships which is valuable experience that I need to continue in this field and provide a world with more minority women engineers. I am well aware of the small percentage that I am, but the numbers are growing and I’m going to be a part of it. Over the years people’s lives have become easier by accessible tools we have on our phone and through the Internet. I hope to be a part of that and ignite in myself unique ideas. I do not have the knowledge yet to create the ideas that I have in my head or to even understand how they could be implemented and eventually helpful. Being in school as a computer science major has greatly increased my creativity and innovative ideas. I have lists of ideas and self-projects that I would love to implement. As I continue to school, I know that there are a lot of untapped ideas that I will think of.

Gary is earning a bachelors in Information Technology at Cal State Dominguez Hills

As an African American I have experienced the lack of representation and opportunity in STEM. I’ve also experienced and benefited from those who have come before me ‘paying it forward’ to me. I want to be in a position to “pay it forward” to the generations coming after me. I’m inspired by the Math camp “I Do Love Math” that my cousin started, and his efforts to give back through math. My BS in Information Technology degree will equip me to give knowledge that I am learning at CSUDH to my community inspiring those coming up. I want to continue to ‘pay it forward’ like so many before me have.

Samantha is earning a bachelors in Computer Science at Cal State Long Beach

I admire the STEM Advantage program’s mission to work with women and those in underserved communities to help them pursue careers in STEM. I fall under both categories and believe the STEM Advantage program is a life changing opportunity for me. Pursuing a career in STEM is already a big challenge, but being an underrepresented individual majoring in a STEM related field is even more challenging. I believe having a community that supports me will make this journey a lot smoother. I am currently a mentor/tutor for the Beach Engineering Student Success Team on campus and am part of various organizations like Women in Computing, Latinos in Science and Engineering and will be ‘paying it forward’ by sharing the valuable skills that I learn through the program with them. When I am finished with the program I will be able to help my mentees with not only their courses, but also help them professionally due to my experience. Also, I will be a mentor in the STEM Advantage program in the future.