Nathalie Huerta's deepest passion is to use her education and experience as a first-generation college student to inspire other young women of color to pursue an education in STEM. She recently completed a Liberal Studies major and is currently pursuing a degree in Mathematics where she has observed this lack of representation. For the past two years, she has been a member of the prestigious community service program on our campus known as CI Corps where she serves as an America Reads Tutor at University Preparation Charter School. She has also participated in several service-learning courses, most recently, Math 308: Modern Mathematics. This course partnered with UPS to address locally the national need of a decreasing population of U.S. citizens pursuing expertise in the STEM fields. Math 308 students created weekly Math Clubs to instill confidence and excitement in 4th and 5th graders in the learning of math. Nathalie intends to use her education, experience working with children and passion for increasing the number of women in STEM by continuing to work directly with the community to create free tutoring centers for students and to advocate for STEM-based programs in local community centers.
During my sophomore year I had a desire to become involved in my new community. I volunteered at middle and elementary schools in Camarillo where I worked alongside at-risk students, those labeled as "troublemakers." I saw the students as interested in their education but had not been given the opportunity to see what they could do with it - where they could go in life. They were extremely motivated to learn and regularly came to tutoring and asked insightful questions. Over time, I could see them gaining confidence in their abilities and in themselves as successful students. They become less disruptive and began to show both leadership and community values. I could see them progressing as I observed some helping their classmates learn.
I am double majoring in Liberal Studies and Mathematics and will eventually pursue a PhD in Math Education. I am passionate about education for all and bringing more women of color into the STEM fields. My tutoring and mentoring experience along with my education support my vision of creating free tutoring centers and advocating to establish STEM based program in local community centers for all but targeted to young females.