I was told this trip would be a once in a lifetime opportunity, but I never imagined it would make a huge impact on my life, allowing me find confidence in who I am and fueling me to become a champion for equal rights.
Back in June, while announcing his presidential candidacy, Donald Trump made divisive comments regarding Mexican immigrants. He voiced his concerns that the United States had become a “dumping ground for everyone else’s problems” and that Mexico was “bringing drugs, and bringing crime, and their rapists.”
Aceves says she never thought about her Hispanic identity or the fact that there are relatively few Hispanics in science until recently, when she perused the names and faces of others in her program. “There was no one that looked like me,” she remembers. Indeed, according to the National Science Foundation, Hispanics account for only 10 percent of all STEM-related degrees. Census data from 2011 show Hispanics make up only 11 percent of the STEM workforce. The number of Latinas within these groups is even smaller. It’s something Aceves is hoping to change.