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    Latina Sailors talk with Mothers, Daughters at HESTEC

    America's Navy speaks at Latina Day during HESTEC 2016

    Photo By Burrell Parmer | EDINBURG, Texas (Oct. 5, 2016) Waipahu, Hawaii native, Senior Chief Petty Officer...... read more read more



    Story by Burrell Parmer 

    Commander, Navy Recruiting Command

    “Celebrating 15 Years” is the theme of the 2016 Hispanic Engineering, Science, and Technology (HESTEC) Week held on the campus of the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley, Oct. 3 - 6.

    HESTEC Week is an educational conference that features events geared toward promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education to people of all ages and backgrounds.

    On Oct. 5, Latina Day was held to celebrate and promote women in the STEM fields. Hundreds of mother/daughter teams from throughout South Texas were brought together to hear the inspiring stories of prominent women of all colors succeeding in careers and job tracks once exclusive to men.

    Sailors and support personnel of Navy Recruiting District (NRD) San Antonio, Navy Recruiting Command, and Naval Facilities Engineering Command participated in two breakout sessions for more than 100 Latina mothers and their daughters.

    Lt. Jacqueline Perez, the Navy’s West Coast city outreach officer, was one of the many Latinas Sailors who served on a panel during one of the Navy’s breakout sessions.

    She spoke to the group of mothers on encouraging their daughters to seek a higher education, especially if it takes them away from home.

    According to Perez, her mother and aunt weren’t allowed to attend college outside their hometown while their brothers could. Her aunt was awarded a full scholarship to Columbia University but her parents only allowed her to attend college locally.

    “When I was growing up, my mother encouraged me to attend college wherever I wanted to go and to really dream big,” said Perez, a native of San Antonio. “Because of that encouragement, I earned my engineering degree from MIT through a Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps Scholarship.”

    Perez, along with other officers and enlisted Sailors, provided varied perspectives on serving in America’s Navy as a Latina.

    “While In high school, the thought of joining the military was not initially on my mind, but as I came closer to graduation, my options became more limited,” said Isabel Laurel, a leading chief petty officer assigned to Navy Recruiting Station Northeast, NRD San Antonio. “I wanted to travel the world and my parents did not have the money to send me to college. Joining the military provided me with options.”

    Elizabeth Anaya of Santa Rosa attended the breakout session with her daughter, Berenice.

    “The session was very educational for the young ladies to hear how doors can be opened for them,” said Anaya. “Many see the military as a low paying job.”

    Anaya, whose brother and brother-in-law serve in the military said that their children have opportunities for a better education and also free healthcare, which her children and others in the Valley do not.

    “It was very beneficial to hear the Latina Sailors speak,” said Anaya. “We don’t have many opportunities to hear about life in the military nor about the numerous benefits and high pay of serving as an officer or enlisted Sailor.”

    Through the support of sponsors and partners, to include the U.S. Navy, HESTEC strives to empower teachers and administrators with the resources to inspire their students to pursue STEM careers through Educators Day; engage secondary level students in STEM-related, hands-on activities and presentations during Student Leadership Day, Latina Day, Robotics Day, Middle School Challenge and SeaPerch Challenge; provide university students with employment and internship opportunities during the College Symposiums and Fall Career Expo; and involve the community as a whole in Community Day.



    Date Taken: 10.05.2016
    Date Posted: 10.06.2016 09:37
    Story ID: 211406
    Location: EDINBURG, TX, US 
    Hometown: SAN ANTONIO, TX, US
    Hometown: SANTA ROSA, TX, US
    Hometown: WAIPAHU, HI, US

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