I decided to pursue teaching because throughout my university and engineering career, I faced many barriers that attempted to keep me from achieving my potential. Many of these barriers came from social injustices in my education that are still present in many underserved communities in the U.S. It frustrates me that these social injustices keep many brilliant students from participating in STEM fields. I believe that education is a powerful tool that can dismantle these barriers. As an educator, I want to help equip students with the tools they need to thrive so that they may bring more diversity to STEM.”
“I chose physics as my teaching discipline because I saw a lack of physics teachers in my community, compared to the other sciences. In order to promote the STEM fields, I feel we need to promote the importance of physics in high schools so that students are adequately prepared for a STEM degree curriculum at a university. Also, I see physics as crucial to understanding the world around us so that we can create innovative solutions to keep moving humankind forward.”
Before beginning a career in education, Sara worked as a materials engineer at Intel Corporation. She worked in the semiconductor fabrication facilities at Intel and was in charge of overseeing some of the crucial materials needed to manufacture processors.
While obtaining her mechanical engineering degree at the University of California Berkeley, Sara completed a variety of internships that exposed her to various positions in the STEM fields. She completed an engineering internship at Northrop Grumman and worked in a semiconductor research lab at Berkeley. She also served as president of the Society of Hispanic Professionals Engineers (SHPE), an organization that aims to promote diversity in the tech industry and empower LatinX students to succeed in STEM.
Sara’s most unique internship involved working for a research group that was developing affordable solar water heaters for developing countries. During this experience, she had the opportunity to work and live in Guatemala to build and field test these water heaters. This experience allowed her to apply the science and math concepts she learned in school to a real engineering project that had a positive impact on several families.
Additionally, Sara worked as a tutor in math, science, and robotics while in college and while working as an engineer.
Sara will begin her second year of teaching at South East High School during the 2020–2021 school year.
In 2016, Sara spent one year teaching English abroad at a public high school in Colombia.
Sara volunteers as the advisor for the STEMinist club at her school’s campus. In this role, she advises a group of students on how to plan and prepare for a career in STEM by leading professional development workshops. She also facilitates group discussions about the importance of increasing diversity in STEM, particularly for women and people of color.
Sara enjoys performance dancing, particularly to hip hop, reggaeton, and salsa. She has been a part of multiple dance teams and performed for large events in Los Angeles.
- California State University, Los Angeles (Master of Arts in Education with an Option in Integrated STEM Teaching)
- University of California, Berkeley (Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering)