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Sahira Lorenzo

Major: Chemistry

My name is Sahira Lorenzo, I am a first-generation college student, born and raised in Oxnard. I grew up in a culturally enriched environment by hard working-parents who immigrated to this place to give my siblings and I a better life. Thanks to their support and their values I knew that going to college would be an important milestone to have. Although hardships were presented and there was a lot unknown, I am happy to say, it was worth it. Now here I am a junior at CSU Channel Islands pursuing my degree in Chemistry and working as a STEM Outreach Assistant. I have gained enormous support from peers, faculty, and advisors. I am grateful to have arrived at a university, which I now consider my second home.

Even prior to attending high school I knew the importance of education because in my family, I was always told that it is a pathway to a better life. So, upon arriving to my high school that was my mindset, to arrive at a university and pursue a career I love. It wasn’t until my junior and senior year where I found that specific career I enjoy. Thanks to a program called the Teaching Educational Career Academy (TECA) at Pacifica High school I was able to visualize the requirements needed to get there. Most importantly, I had the opportunity to practice teaching my favorite subject, science, to k-12 students. I loved science but I didn’t know I could pursue it as a career until almost the last two years of high school. It wasn’t until I attended an event that CSUCI hosted called the Science Carnival where I made my final decision, I wanted to be a scientist. Fun fact, my favorite experiment is called “Elephant toothpaste” it basically looks like a giant colorful toothpaste explosion.

I enrolled at CSU channels Islands right after high school and took a dive into the chemistry world. I’ll admit there were a lot of adjustments that had to be made during my first year like getting to understand course-work and time management but I always knew I wasn’t alone in the process. I had amazing support from faculty, peers and mentors. I decided to work as an Outreach Assistant because I feel immense joy knowing I can help others through a pathway I have been in. It’s motivating seeing so many incoming students wanting to pursue higher education. What I enjoy most is being able to interact with students and parents during our presentation because in between each presentation it gives me the opportunity to offer guidance and support. It’s indescribable how happy I get knowing that students are empowered and ready to thrive.

To the next generation of students know that you are amazing, you are incredible and you can succeed. I hope that you know that you have a familia whom you can talk to for advice, guidance and support. After all I am here to assist you! Know you are capable of anything you set your mind to and never be afraid to branch out.