The Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering and Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers enrich my network by connecting me with people who not only share my culture but are also studying the same thing.
Class of ’23, mechanical engineering
I chose Maryland because the Clark School has a great reputation, and I wanted to stay close to home. I entered the LSAMP Bridge Program after my senior year of high school; that experience helped me acclimate to the campus ahead of my formal arrival that fall.
My parents didn’t speak English when they emigrated from Ecuador in the ’80s. They were focused on school and work, so I didn’t grow up with much connection to my identity as a Latino student. I believe that having attended a majority white private boys Catholic high school helped me be more comfortable in the environment at the school of engineering than many of my Latinx peers. Now, though, I am able to empathize with my fellow minority classmates and have come to identify as a minority at Maryland.
The Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering and organizations like the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) enrich my network by connecting me with people who not only share my culture but are also studying the same thing. Through the LSAMP Bridge Program and Undergraduate Research Program, I connected with other students in my cohort who became more than just peers: they’re my friends. Now I’m president of UMD’s chapter of SHPE, working to build connections and find additional internship, job, or scholarship opportunities for those who identify as Latinx or are allies of the Latinx community. It’s part of how I give back.