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Diana Del Rio

Hometown: Santa Paula, California

Major: Biochemistry

Minor: History

Graduation Date: Spring 2021

Career Plans: Graduate School to PhD route

For first generation students growing up in Ventura County there can be many struggles when trying to go to university. I had always had an inclination toward science and math, so it was important for me to get a solid foundation in these classes while I was growing up. Managing my classes was easy enough- the grades came with work and effort, but choosing a place to continue my higher education was a task due to my family’s limitations. Being from a low-income family, staying local was really important because of my family limitations, and CSUCI was a perfect opportunity to achieve my goals.

As a kid I had always had an inclination toward science and math. A large contributing factor to this was growing up with a disabled sister who constantly needed hospital care - always being surrounded by doctors, nurses, and the overall hospital environment sparked a flame in me that I nurture to this day. Being an Outreach Mentor in the STEM field, it’s important to be able to motivate students in high school and middle school to pursue higher education, especially in STEM. Growing up, I had mentors from many walks of life encourage and support my interest in STEM and this support made me realize how important mentors were in the process of discovering what I wanted to do in life. I want to be able to become a mentor for those students who know and excel in science in order to similarly encourage their goals. Aside from these younger students, being an Outreach Mentor is important for fellow CI students. STEM can be intimidating if you are in it alone, so building a sense of community for CI students is necessary.