Bipartisan resolution aims to get more Latinos in STEM

Congress is implementing a bipartisan campaign to transform the STEM profession and encourage more Latinos to seek a career in science and technology.

Jesus Ojeda earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering in 2019 and a Master’s in Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering in 2020, both from the University of Southern California (USC).

“I think we had a dream to be an astronaut and secondly, growing up in a small town in Mexico we were close to the airport so I would see the planes land and take off. , ”Ojeda said of his plans to find an engineer. Business.

Ojeda’s hard work has led to several internships, including one with NASA. He works as a senior technology engineer at Raytheon in Goleta.

Ojeda said it was not an easy journey.

“Where is the dean’s office? Where is the cashier? So I don’t know anyone, and no one in my family can guide me through the process, ”Ojeda said.

He was, in fact, California’s first Latino senator, Alex Padilla, who was also known to study mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

“Latinos are coming from schools that don’t have enough money. I remember in the past, being an English teacher and trying to win a language, not just math, was the barriers to being able to compete in college, ”Senator Padilla said.

The U.S. Senate approved a two -way relationship to support Latinos seeking a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“How are we encouraging more Latino young people to seek STEM education as you go from high school to college and in fact, more Latino students are completing a STEM education and entering? in STEM fields working as engineers and scientists in many areas, ”said Senator Padilla. . “This decision is the first step in ensuring Congress has a purpose and a goal.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2020, Hispanics will make up 18% of the nation’s workforce. However, a Pew Research Center by 2021 Latinos will account for only 8% of STEM jobs.

“Opening up that first generation and opening up that path will give power to that whole family but also give it a different kind of life,” said Sonia Martinez, vice president. for success and sales for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU).

Pew Research Center It is found that the average annual salary for non-STEM jobs in 2019 will be $ 46,900 and STEM jobs will pay about $ 77,400.

Of course, some STEM careers are more expensive. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and information systems administrators can make more than $ 150,000.

The resolution seeks to encourage colleges and universities to do more.

“We are great supporters of our students’ research, as undergraduates, working with a faculty so they can enjoy and see how this math and science is applied to them. learning, ”Martinez said.

In addition to providing education, she relies on business organizations founded and run by Latinos.

“One thing that has helped me a lot in overcoming these challenges is being part of organizations like MESA and SHPE, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers,” Ojeda said.

SHPE is a program to better educate Latino parents about STEM careers, and they also provide resources for those interested in hosting events to empower Latino youth.

Each year, they organize a conference to better connect students with professions and schools.

“We were able to donate over $ 1 million in grants this past financial year which is the most for us in a year, so we’re excited to win next year,” he said. and Monique Herrera, head of external relations for SHPE. “We also bring together 300 organizations, universities that are looking to advertise opportunities for graduate school, as well as internships, fellowships, co-ops and full-time offers.”

Senators Padilla and Ojeda agreed that having mentors along the way would be key to their success.

“That father, godfather [godfather]he is [uncle] in a friendship, mentors who go there to guide them and pull them up as much as they can to succeed in their profession, ”Herrera said.

Ojeda said he was able to pay up front with his own sister and plan to encourage other Latinos.

“The best way to encourage kids, first generation students, all these Latinos to come to STEM is that it’s common for us professionals to go and spread the word, to show measuring people in our position can guide them through the process, ”Ojeda said.

While no specific funding has been allocated yet, Senator Padilla said having this commitment at the federal level could lead to K-12 and college programs as well as private sector partnerships. .

To learn more about the programs by HACU, click here.

To learn more about SHPE and the resources the company offers, click here.

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Bipartisan resolution aims to get more Latinos in STEM Source link Bipartisan resolution aims to get more Latinos in STEM

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