Guadalupe Ba??ales is the first and only one in her family to achieve a Bachelor's Degree. Given that her parents never educated past elementary school, that is very exceptional.
Despite basic family expectation, she remained a very self-motivated student, which placed her in the gifted classes throughout her junior and high school career. In addition to attending school, she helped her family financially and began working part time.
College had always been a foreign idea to her and her family. Fortunately for Guadalupe, her vision changed while working in the fast food industry, when she interacted with a small group of engineer's that had been frequent customers. She reached out to them for advice. Guadalupe took their guidance and enrolled at Los Angeles Harbor Community College.
Guadalupe started exploring different career options. Ultimately, determining which career to pursue was aided by mechanical problems she experienced with her first car. Guadalupe's father had a good understanding of cars, and guided her in fixing its many issues. She enjoyed it so much that she wanted to gain understanding of why car companies designed different components a certain way. This spark of curiosity along with the engineers' advice pointed her toward Mechanical Engineering.
Guadalupe had also been involved in community groups, who took steps towards improving air quality. Living in Wilmington, California near the port of Los Angeles and its refineries, she witnessed firsthand how much the air pollution from the port trucks and other vehicles affected the air quality and people's health.
She transferred to the California State University of Los Angeles to obtain her Bachelor's degree. On campus she joined EcoCAR 2. She held leadership positions in the Mechanical sub team and gained valuable team-building skills and hybrid integration vehicle knowledge. She also had gained valuable design skills that helped her earn two internships at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
At her internships, she worked with Astrophysicist from Caltech in developing a new ground telescope technology concept and helped problem solve Deep Space Network Antenna issues.
Guadalupe helped support her family and faced many challenges while attending college. She was able to obtain her Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering and established a solid career position with General Motors in Detroit.
Guadalupe is currently a Computer Aided Engineer for team Body Structures. She strives to be an engineer at the forefront of more fuel efficient vehicle technology.
I'd like to thank Amigos Unidos JPL and Alfonso V Feria, Ph.D. for their assistance.
Armando F Sanchez:
Armando F Sanchez is a national leadership speaker, writer, worldwide traveler and CEO of Armando F Sanchez Production Network. His organization produces global web cast and podcast programming. Author's website Email the author