…She saw herself as a Lolita Taub and hoped that young girls could also see themselves as an MBA candidate, a tech professional, or a role model for other Latinas.
On Saturday October 1st, the Latina Power in STEM Conference housed middle school and high school girls, STEM educators, and Latin@ families. This year’s conference held at Glendale Community College featured the Technolochicas, a collaborative project of the National Center for Women & IT (NCWIT) and Televisa Foundation designed to raise awareness among young Latinas and their families about opportunities and careers in technology. In attendance and running workshops were groups like Snapchat, Microsoft, Latin@ educators from the community, and the Technolochicas themselves.
One attendee was particularly inspired to participate in the conference: Ruby Canto, an aspiring high school STEM educator. Life experiences and stories from the keynote speaker, Lolita Taub an MBA candidate, resonated with Canto. Both come from similar communities in the Los Angeles area, both made huge sacrifices in order to fulfill their educational goals, and both are Latinas representing in STEM fields. After hearing her keynote address, Canto felt that she saw herself as a Lolita Taub and hoped that young girls could also see themselves as an MBA candidate, a tech professional, or a role model for other Latinas. From her keynote speech, the audience left feeling empowered and ready to take on the workshops for the day.
Canto found one session extremely helpful: the NCWIT Educator Resources workshop lead by Leslie Aaronson, Director of K-12 Initiatives with NCWIT. Aaronson exuded positivity and determination as she led her workshop. She provided online resources for educators to implement in their classrooms and words of wisdom to those in the education field. She reminded those in her session that a teacher’s duty is not to have all the answers, but to be a facilitator and guide of student learning. In addition, Aaronson shared practical and tangible strategies to implement in the classroom the next day. Canto said that the educator resources session was a great way to get inspired, learn new strategies, and receive resources to increase technology in the classroom.
She wants to be a role model and positive influence for young Latinas just as her past teachers have done for her.
The Latina Power in STEM Conference was a huge success as it not only introduced STEM projects, occupations, and professionals to younger Latinas, but it also reignited the passion of STEM educators in attendance. Canto says the conference justified her dream of becoming an educator. She says that she wants to be an educator in STEM because she wants to inspire young girls to pursue hard science, technology, math, and engineering fields. She says that this is her way of paying forward all that she has gained from her education. She wants to be a role model and positive influence for young Latinas just as her past teachers have done for her. As a first generation college graduate, she wants to help guide young Latinas seeking higher education and provide the resources and tools that were not so easily available when she was applying for college.
Canto graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a Bachelor in Arts in Latin American and Latino Studies and a minor in Information System Management. Currently she is taking her prerequisites to become an educator; she plans to apply for her Single Subject Credential in Math from the San Diego State University or National University in San Diego, CA.
At JSciMed Central, we honor and uphold the practice of hiring a diverse group of women and support Latin@s in STEM by inviting international, national, and local Latin@s to serve as editorial board members, reviewers, and authors of our journals.