The Hispanic and Latinx communities are filled with talented people from all paths and careers. Our people are resilient, intelligent, resourceful, creative, innovative, and the world is taking notice.
When people talk about our culture, they tend to point out our gastronomy and music; however, there is a universe within the Hispanic and Latinx community that is yet to be explored. Most North Americans are witnessing how Latinos and Latinas are working their way to the top and how significant is our influence in the United States is.
Although Latinas in STEM fields remain underrepresented is up to us to shed light on their names and talk about the fantastic women breaking the glass ceiling and paving the way.
Find below a list of four trailblazers Latinas excelling in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics
Sabrina Gonzalez Paterski
- Role: Faculty-Physics Professor tenure-track, Perimeter Institute
Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski is a self-described “proud first-generation Cuban-American and Chicago Public Schools alumna.“ Born on June 3, 1993, Gonzalez Pasterski is a theoretical physicist from Chicago who studies high energy physics. After finishing her undergraduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a 5.00 GPA, earning a Ph.D. from Harvard University, and becoming a PCTS Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton University, she was named the next Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking.
Sabrina started making headlines at the age of 13 when she built an entire fixed-wing single-engine plane called the N5886Q. “At 10, I had bought an engine rebuild stand, cheap eBay red-tagged (damaged) crankcase/crankshaft/cylinders/pistons/etc. to repeatedly practice building and tearing down an O-200A engine in the foyer outside my bedroom,” she wrote on her website.
Although Gonzalez Pasterski is not on social media, she has a YouTube channel called PhysicsGirl.
- Role: Founder of Latina Girls Code (LGC)
Stephanie Castillo is the Latina Girls Code (LGC) founder, a Chicago-based program providing technology education and resources to Latinas between 7 and 17. Castillo built the program to fill the diversity gap in S.T.E.M. Her students have access to workshops, hackathons, and classes on technology languages and entrepreneurial skills.
Through the initiative, Castillo also advances Hispanic and Latinx kids in unique circumstances, whether they need laptops or immigration advice.
- Role: Director of the Johnson Space Center
Ellen Ochoa is a Mexican-American engineer and former astronaut, better known for been the first Hispanic woman in the world to go to space. As an astronaut, Ochoa served on the nine-day STS-56 mission aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 1993. According to NADA, she has flown in space four times, including STS-66, STS-96, and STS-110, logging nearly 1,000 hours in orbit.
Ellen was the first Hispanic director of the Johnson Space Center, NASA‘s center for human spaceflight, where human spaceflight training, research, and flight control are conducted.
- Role: Financial analyst at Google
Stephanie Nuesi was born and raised in the Dominican Republic in a neighborhood in the city of Santo Domingo Este in the province of Santo Domingo. While in school, Nuesi developed a positive relationship with finances, numbers, and technology, not knowing that despite the language barrier, years later, she would build a career in what she is most passionate about.
According to Stephanie, after moving to the United States at the age of 16 in 2015, with a lack of English knowledge but a lot of hope, she started learning the language after been rejected from college for the same reason. “I had to sign up for several free courses at a public bookstore and apply the following year again,” she revealed on social media. “With many hours of dedication and effort, I was able to pass the entrance exams and was accepted in six universities in New York.”
After taking ESL (English as a Second Language) classes to learn the formal grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation of spoken and written English, working two jobs to pay her studies and help at home, graduating from one of the best business schools with honors, and many job rejections, Stephanie Nuesi landed a job that would change her life forever.
The 22-year-old business savvy recently accepted a job offer at Google as a financial analyst for Youtube. Although the role has a broad job title, a financial analyst use complex mathematical and statistical techniques to undertake economic analysis for external or internal clients. Several analyst roles cover financial management and risk management, investment analyst, etc.
According to Nuesi, she wants to build her own table with space to bring multiple chairs. “My goal now is to help as many young Dominicans to obtain jobs, that is why I started my own company Max Up (@_maxup),” she said, adding that she wants “to give knowledge and information to those who like me, come with the hope of a better future. It is time for more young Dominicans to continue opening paths for the future generation!”