I am a Mexican-American of 1.25 immigrant generation and 1st generation college graduate living in San Francisco, California. I am privileged to have lived in the following places during my life:
- Tijuana, Mexico
- San Diego, California – Hometown
- Chico, California
- Bangalore, India
- Phoenix, Arizona
- San Francisco, California
- San Jose, California – Currently
As a kid, I used to watch Nova on PBS with my dad which sparked my deep fascination with outer space and the universe. I would constantly ask him to translate the narration to Spanish as I was dumbfounded by the incredibly picturesque vastness of the cosmos. This interest in science convinced me about wanting to be a scientist when I grew up. I am incredibly grateful my father encouraged and supported learning about space from a young age. This has helped me think about my/our place in the universe throughout my life.
I hope to one day make a contribution that will improve humanity’s quality of life. Whether in my local community or on a grander scale.
Fast-forwarding to college, I knew astrophysics was not my thing, but after taking an Astronomy course, I developed a great interest in the stories behind constellations. The incredibly creative ways humans throughout history have looked up to the night sky for answers to life’s greatest mysteries. I began studies of mythology, religion, and philosophy. I have always been fascinated by how people behave. It was then when I began my career in Sociology, the study of the development, structure, and functioning of human society. I was mindblown.
Pursuing a college education in Sociology opened a few doors to see and experience the world first-hand. It was then when my college mentor, Dr. Liahna Gordon, supported and encouraged my desire to study abroad in Bangalore, India for a semester. This experience was mind-opening, to say the least.
India is an incredibly beautiful country with some of the holiest and oldest cities in the world. Of course Goa, the Taj Mahal, and Pushkar Camel Fair were amazing. But visiting Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh was definitely the experience I was searching for. Flying into the spiritual capital of India with the Himalayas in the background, joining a sunrise ceremony on the Ganges River, witnessing a live cremation, and ending the trip where the Buddha attained enlightenment beneath a sacred Bodhi Tree. Mahabodhi Temple. I decided to take a picture of this tree and get it tattooed on my arm.