Hispanic Heritage Month: CSOs on the GO!

To increase the STEM awareness within our community this fall, two South Cobb High School students created the CSOs on the GO! YouTube channel with interviews of Latinx STEM professionals about their careers. Aishat and Vivian are participants in Science ATL’s Chief Science Officer program, which empowers youth to lead community action projects to enhance their peers’ STEM awareness or address community challenges through STEM. The podcast series includes interviews with five different STEM professionals who identify as Hispanic or Latino/a, discussing their careers, their high school experiences and sharing their passion for STEM.

CSO Aishat

“During February, we hosted an in-person STEM speaker series for Black History Month at our school,” said CSO Aishat. “We planned on continuing the speaker series for Hispanic Heritage Month this fall, and the podcast seemed to be a perfect replacement in a socially distanced world.”

As Chief Science Officers (CSOs), Vivian and Aishat join 50 other middle and high school students from across metro Atlanta to develop and implement action plans that enrich the STEM community at their schools and in their community. Through leadership skill building activities, and coaching from teacher advisors and local STEM professionals, the program instills a Life of Leadership, an Attitude of Action, a Sense of STEM, and the Value of Voice. Students document their impact and reflect on their personal growth.

CSO Vivian

“During the beginning of this project, the biggest challenge for me was clear, constant, and concise communication,” said CSO Vivian. “In order to get all the speakers on board with our action plan, I had to send several emails back and forth between them as well as with my partner CSO and advisor. It was important that we made our intentions clear without causing confusion and just getting straight to the point. This, on top of scheduling and several early meetings, was somewhat new to me. But I am lucky to have the team that made this challenge not so scary, and totally achievable!”

Since working on this project, CSO Vivian says she has become more drawn to the world of engineering. “It is especially encouraging to see that the engineering workforce is becoming diversified with minorities who can represent our already diverse overall population. I have learned that there is a broad spectrum of careers in all sorts of fields waiting to be occupied by people like you and me!”

CSOs on the GO! Hispanic Heritage Month Series

View the entire playlist here, or jump to individual episodes below, and don’t forget to subscribe to the CSOs on the Go! channel!

Episode 1: Dr. Juan Carlos Medina, Dow Chemical Company
Episode 2: Adriyel Nieves, PhD student in Electrical Engineering
Episode 3: Gaberiela Soalheiro, tech consultant and MBA student
Episode 4: Judy Betancur, marketing manager, Dupont
Episode 5: Beatris Mendez Gandica, engineer and program manager at Microsoft, and founder, Nuevo Foundation