My favorite lyric is from “Cuando Canto” by Ozomatli
“Cuando canto mi cancion, quiero inspirar mi gente con una solucion
Cuando despierto en la manana, se que tengo el poder para una dia triumfar
Cuando me acuesto en la noche, puedo mirar estrellas que me dan esperanza
Cuando sueno en la madrugada, ojala que mi trabajo no es temporal
Cuando demuestro mi corazon con mis aciones puedes entender que no soy hombre perfect no soy
pero trato mucho, trato decidir lo mas mejor para el mundo why lo pongo en una cancion
Cuando canto mi cancion”
Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I’ve been teaching high school math and computer science for 13 years in Central California. I currently work for Brown University as a Program Trainer for the Bootstrap: Algebra curriculum. I’m also their Social Media Outreach Coordinator and run the Bootstrap Twitter and Facebook accounts. I also do side contracting with the non-profit CUE(Computer Using Educators) and deliver professional development on Google, 1:1 Chromebooks, Math and Technology Integration, and more.
A fun fact about me is that I love to travel internationally and I am on the board of a non-profit teacher travel organization called GEEO (Global Exploration for Educators Organization). GEEO helps teachers travel the world at an affordable cost to bring back the experience to their classroom and students.
Favorite website / app:
Right now, I am really digging the Autocrat Google Add-On. It’s amazing how much you can automate with this simple to use Add-On.
Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
My grandmother, Margaret Eguia, inspires me. She has since passed away but the way she treated everyone is what I strive to do every day. She was a caring soul, amazing listener and a super generous person. However, she was not naive. She was also a shrewd business woman and wise soul whom others would seek for advice. I pattern my life after hers.
Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
My junior year in college, I did not get financial aid and my father was imprisoned around the same time. I was going to drop out of college and take a year off but I had great friends who reminded me how strong I was and that it was just another obstacle to work through. I stayed in school and worked another job to help pay for school to graduate on time.
Describe what it means for you to be a K-12 Influencer in STEM.
Education is empowering but STEM education and in particular, Computer Science education is empowering on a different level. I’ve seen in my own life how an education in the STEM fields can change your life. I got a minor in Computer Programming my last year of college and that allowed me to get a software consulting job where I travelled the Western United States for a large HR software company. For a kid that grew up in a small farming town in Central California, my education allowed me(and still allows me) to live the American Dream.
What knowledge would you impart to other K-12 Influencers in STEM?
Always look back at where you’ve come from and the struggles you’ve been through and seek for ways to impart those stories and lessons learned to the younger folks from your area(or similar disadvantaged areas). Kids need to see a diverse group of successful people to identify with and open up that possibility in their minds.