Program Coordinator, California State University, StanislausVISTA Alum | Stanislaus State
I was raised by my grandfather who worked in the fields since he was very young. Even without a formal education, he instilled in me a strong desire to get an education. He taught me to fight against the injustices and unfair biases that keep certain populations in poverty and illiterate. He empowered me to pursue my dreams and aspirations and break away from the “status” I was born into.
When I was 15 years old, I migrated to the United States to continue pursuing my education. It was difficult to integrate into the American educational system because I could not speak English and since my parents barely finished second grade, they did not know how to help me. It took me nearly 15 years to finish my college degree because I lacked the resources and support to be successful. Despite these many obstacles, I earned the President’s Education Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement and eventually my degree from CSU Stanislaus.
When I joined the CSU STEM VISTA program, I found myself in the perfect environment where I could channel my passion for social justice, education, and science. This program, just like a chrysalis, nurtured my leadership skills and empowered my disenfranchised self. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to serve my community and empower underrepresented students in STEM. This program gives me hope that our CSU system is working to implement equitable programs and serve students who have been traditionally underserved and underrepresented.
During her two years of service, Miriam organized and expanded several K-12 outreach programs that offered engaging hands-on learning activities for youth on topics such as solar energy, coding, power and circuits. These programs have also helped Stanislaus State student volunteers, known as STEM Ambassadors, learn about their community, utilize the concepts they are learning in the classroom, and enhance their leadership and teamwork skills. In 2018, the STEM Ambassadors program was awarded the Greatest Achievement award at the Stanislaus State Student Leadership Awards.