I am the Co-Founder & President of STEM Center USA, a K-12 education and coding based company focused on inspiring the next generation of STEM leaders. Based in Southern California, I work with hundreds of students through virtual classes and two physical locations that provide hands-on learning experiences for children 5 years and up. My sister and I develop curriculum that include early learners, introduction to engineering terminology, electronics, CAD & 3D modeling, virtual reality, Java, python, and more. I also develop STEM programs for the Migrant Education Program that is actively used in 10+ regions across California and Colorado.
Current project that excites you
Since the pandemic, I have been working on a virtual program for Migrant Education students in California. The program focuses on merging coding/STEM based classes with Math and ELA/ELD. Students participate in after-school or Saturday sessions over the course of a semester to continue their learning while also being exposed to concepts like virtual reality, circuits, and CAD/3D modeling. It’s an incredible way to engage students with hands-on projects and coding opportunities, all while tying the activities back into state standards. The response has been incredible from students and district coordinators!
Skills learned at Cal
Cal taught me how to handle rigor and competitiveness, while also considering equity and inclusion. These may seem like two independent ideas, but they stem from my experience as a female engineering student of color and my time in the ASUC. Berkeley has incredible students that understand academic rigor. But every student comes from a diverse background with different experiences. Berkeley taught me the importance of having a seat at the table and ensuring the the needs of underrepresented folks are always considered and included. You cannot have a great school without equity. Just as in my work, we cannot have a great team without a diverse, inclusive environment.
Something few people know
I was on Shark Tank back in 2015. It’s been some years now, but every once in awhile the rerun pops up on TV!
Book or movie you loved
Community Schools, edited by JoAnne Ferrara and Reuben Jacobson
Current food obsession
In classic Berkeley fashion, I’m vegan! And went vegan during my time at Cal. My favorite place to eat, hands down, is the Butcher’s Son right off of University Avenue. Every time I go back to the Bay Area, it is my first stop.
Favorite form of exercise
Fondest memory from Cal
Making the long walk from south side of campus to Etcheverry Hall. Though, my college self would definitely not have selected that! Thinking back to my time at Cal, the walk across campus was crucial. Some days I was sprinting to class (late), other days I was casually strolling through Sproul taking in all the different tables, flyers, and people. I loved taking a different route to Etcheverry Hall every time (unless I was late for class) as I mentally prepared for an exam or simply enjoyed the bustle of fellow students making their way through the day.
Advice for your 20-year-old self
Take the time to slow down and reflect. When I was in college, I was involved in so many different things (student government, engineering clubs, work, etc). However, when you’re 20-years old this is the time to explore. Take in as much information, but also enjoy life! Don’t run so quickly that you miss out on new adventures or experiences. Taking the time to pause, relax, and reflect can increase your ability to focus and select an exciting new path.
What keeps you enthusiastic about your job
My passion is working with students in K-8, and in particular young girls, to expose them to the amazing world of engineering! It is refreshing to see kids experience their own “a-ha!” moment as they light up their first LED, create a circuit, or write their first lines of code. We live in a technology driven world. It it is crucial to provide every student with the opportunity to learn, have access to hands-on education, and experience the joys of learning. Kids. Kids are the reason I love my job.< Back to previous page