I am glad to inform that I was elected to be a Student Board Member at SACNAS (Society for Chicanos/Hispanics and Native American in Science). I want to thank the students at GSBS, IMSD and everyone for their support. As I mentioned in the last piece, being elected for this position is very important to me. SACNAS provided me with a community, a family when I didn’t have one… a shared experience among many other students and professionals. That is why us SACNITAs call it the Familia.
I have been interested in helping students get to the next level for many years. As a kid, I helped tutor others and have been mentoring students for a long time now. It is something that I have continued to do even during the pandemic. For example, earlier this month I was helping one of my mentees to create an event to inspire her middle school peers in Puerto Rico to pursue STEM fields.
SACNAS is not only about mentoring but it is also about giving back to the community. Last year, I worked to help the Puerto Rico Health Trust to design a COVID-19 guide for community centers and low-income communities. The guide centralizes pertinent information and is provided in Spanish (as not all CDC information was translated). This project was designed to make this information accessible not only by providing it in Spanish but also by collaborating with a graphic designer so that the information can also be understood by those who do not know how to read. This project was of upmost importance since not having readily accessible information increases health disparities and can, in this case, lead to a person getting infected.
Now, as a Student Board Member, I can help more students and communities. In the SACNAS Board, we work with strategic planning and governance. This means that we plan on how the organization mission and goals will be met for the current year as well as the next five years.
As part of the SACNAS Board of Directors, I hope to establish future collaboration between SACNAS and other organizations with a similar mission. In addition, I plan to work towards increasing representation from the industry sector, expanding to states where we still do not have chapters in, as well as increasing representation from social science, engineering, computer science and other fields that are currently underrepresented in our organization. I will also work with other chapters to create plans that will help us get closer to our goal.
Let’s work together to increase representation and achieve TRUE diversity in STEM!