Career: Chemical Engineer
PODCAST EPISODE 6 - *ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT* ESMERALDA'S STORY: MY JOURNEY TO AND THROUGH YALE UNIVERSITY
Meet Esmeralda, one incredibly resilient young woman who was the only Latina Chemical Engineer in her graduating class at Yale University. She was also one of a few women in the program altogether. She has one powerful story to share.
Esmeralda credits her motivation and drive for success to her parents. They laid a humble foundation for Esmeralda and inspired her and her brother to go to college.
Her dad was a garment and factory worker and was the sole provider for their household. She often accompanied him to work where she saw first-hand the harsh conditions her father had to work in. Earning 10 cents a garment, she knew that her father always deserved a better life.
When she was a sophomore at Bravo Medical Magnet High School, Esmeralda was introduced to College Match Los Angeles. Thanks to the support of her College Match Counselor, Michelle, she earned an admitted spot in 6 of the Ivy League Universities including Columbia, Princeton, Brown, UPenn, Dartmouth and Yale! In the end, Yale offered her the best financial aid package and she found them to be her “best fit” when it came to the campus environment.
Esmeralda had just started her final semester at Yale when COVID-19 hit. Due to the pandemic, she was forced to shift to online learning and did not have a traditional Yale graduation ceremony. Sadly, her graduation would have been the first time her parents visited Yale. They never had a chance to experience their daughter’s huge milestone.
Despite some setbacks along the way, Esmeralda has always pushed through. She is an avid runner and has run 2 LA Marathons! As a Chemical Engineer, she dreams of working at Boeing while giving back to her community and supporting other first-generation Latina in STEM find a voice. She will surely leave an incredible impact in any company, just like she has done with College Match!
**For a Video Version of Esmeralda’s Podcast Interview, visit our College Match YouTube Page where you’ll be able to see pictures of her in action and much more. And if you’d like to learn more about College Match LA, visit www.collegematchla.org.