While the recent March for Science attracted 1,700 marchers in San Antonio, many scientists believe that encouraging Latino students to enter science careers is a critical step for the future. Encouraging youth to enter these careers is not only an important step for their future, but for the nation.
Jackson Antonio Alexander Garcia was one of the marchers in San Antonio. He is a graduate of Brandeis High School and majors in engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
“Growing up in a Hispanic household taught me perseverance through tough obstacles. That’s a trademark of our community. The path to a career in engineering wasn’t always easy, but focusing on my goals and never having quitting as an option got me to where I am, but there’s more work to do,” said Garcia.
Currently, the United States is 17th in science and 25th in mathematics in industrialized countries. Approximately 500,000 technology jobs are open. There are projected increases in STEM jobs through 2020.
The US Army and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation have been actively promoting paths to STEM fields among young Latino high school students. With the input of professionals in those fields, students are finding pathways to enter those professions. The intent is to spark interest and confidence for students to take opportunities that will lead to higher education and filling jobs will well paid, educated workers.