Emily Anne Vargas

My parents immigrated to the United States from Cuba to seek opportunity; in turn, they sacrificed their aspirations to provide my sister and I the chance to pursue the higher education they were not able to obtain. Both of my parents worked six jobs each to obtain the prepaid college plan. Their goal was for both my sister and I to attend a four-year university without having to worry about tuition expenses. This selfless act motivates me each and every day to achieve higher, but more importantly, to one day eliminate my family’s financial struggle. As a first generation Cuban American, raised by a hard laborer, my passion lies in making a difference for others. This exposure to materials and work ethic that my father instilled in me has developed my aspirations to obtain my PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Southern California. My goal is to become a chief composites engineer in Research and Development within the aerospace industry. ⁣

I declared myself an engineering major based on the sole fact that it was challenging. I’m not afraid at trying something challenging. With this choice, I made a list of things I needed to do to succeed by the time I graduated in the next four years.⁣

I would like to say to all Hispanic aspiring engineers to go for it. It will take hard work, but there is support out there that will uplift you along the way. Find them. They’re out there looking to guide your path. As a future chief engineer, I will dedicate time and energy to expand the working force with individuals of similar backgrounds to mine. I will understand their drive and lead them to their highest aspirations. My mantra that I choose to live by as I continue the journey called life is: “Always live at the bottom, even when you are at the top.” Never forget why you started and never forget who was there for you along the way. @vargasemily12

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