Nancy Rodas De Leon


University of California, Merced, 2021
Major: Cognitive Science

As the oldest of four, and the daughter of two Guatemalan immigrant parents, I have been the first to show them the sacrifices that leaving their country and moving to a foreign one have not been in vain. I know that with my Bachelor’s Degree, and progressing into my Ph.D., in the future I will be able to take care of my family. I am now able to not only advocate for myself, but can apply my knowledge and experiences to the next generation in hopes of contributing toward a ripple effect within my community. Because of my degree, I am able to bridge communities that otherwise would not receive the support they deserve. Having a younger sister, I feel that seeing me enrolled in STEM as a Ph.D. student will allow her to recognize she can take any place in society she wants to regardless of gender or ethnicity. I hope to become a professor and increasingly bridge the gap between academia and students of different backgrounds allowing them to feel like they belong.