Mariana was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and currently resides in the small town of Troy, Ohio. Her father, an engineer, is originally from Mexico City, Mexico while her mother, a counselor, emigrated from Quito, Ecuador. Her father's work has taken the family to various locations, including Mexico.
For her family, the American Dream was to achieve a good education and succeed in life. “My parents both grew up in poverty,” she explained, “and education was what drove them forward and brought them to the United States for a better life.”
This summer, Mariana was chosen to attend HSF’s Youth Leadership Institute (YLI) at the University of Chicago. YLI is a four-day college empowerment conference held at various college campuses across the nation.
“I wholeheartedly believe in HSF's mission to support talented Latino students who can make great contributions to the world in the future,” she said. “HSF's programs can make a huge difference in the lives of students like myself, and I believe that with the help of HSF, many of us can receive an exceptional education.”
She is looking forward to attending a four-year university after high school and majoring in chemical engineering. After college, she is committed to pursuing either a graduate degree in engineering or attending medical school. She hopes to incorporate both into her future career trajectory.
This summer she also had the opportunity to research and build neuro-prosthetics in an engineering program at the University of Michigan. She was fascinated by the ways that engineering can be applied to challenges in the field of medicine, and she looks forward to one day working on those kinds of problems.
Mariana is a teacher’s aide and belongs to a number of campus organizations, including the National Honor Society, the Key Club, the cross-country team, swim team, and Science Club. She is also the president of the Math Club and on the Senate of the Latin Club; she says both experiences have helped her develop her leadership skills. Through her campus organizations, she also volunteers on projects that benefit the Troy school district and community.