Welcome to my first blog post! Thank you SO much for signing up and reading about my STEM story. My name is Mena and I’m passionate about STEM education. My path in STEM was not a mess-free one.
I grew up in a handful of rural towns and even though my family and I lived relatively close to Silicon Valley, it could have been Mars, because I just had no idea what it had to offer in terms of opportunity. Growing up as a first generation student and as the daughter of immigrants, I was not exposed to many career paths or educational paths in STEM. I remember always being interested in science in particular. I loved learning about the way the natural world works, the universe, and animals. Somewhere along the way (high school) I lost the mentality that I was good at science and math. Although I got good grades in my classes, I recall thinking that science and math would not be a path forward for me. It would not be until college that I learned about the socialization of young girls and the different barriers to entry, stigmas, and socio-cultural pressures for girls to pursue certain fields and degrees over others.
I realized, as an adult, that I did not have a single role model of a Latina in STEM. I was always encouraged by my parents and many of my teachers to pursue education and my dreams, but I could not be what I didn’t see. Even when I got to college, my professors and the student body did not reflect the diversity I needed to see. In my career and as I pursue a higher education, I am often the only Latina in the room. This is both motivating and highly defeating. What I mean by this is that the lack of representation is the main reason why I started this entire platform (Latinapowerpuff) to begin with, but if I’m honest there have been many times where I have felt like a complete outsider and alone (HELLO imposter syndrome). I’ll be sharing more about the specifics of my experiences, but I wanted to kick off this blog by sharing a bit about myself, my hopes and goals for this platform, as well as what content to expect!
(from my days @ my bilingual elementary school to speaking in Washington, D.C. regarding the importance of increasing Latinx representation in STEM)
Hopes & Goals:
Create a space and community for Latinx in STEM
Share resources and learnings!
Content to Expect:
Resources for STEM, education, career, and lifestyle
My experience in academia and tech
Plant based tips, resources, and experiences
Collaborations with other people in the STEM community (speaking it into existence!)
And more <3
Thanks for stopping by :) Share your STEM story below, I’d love to hear about your experience!