Ms. Ordoñez was born and raised in Miami, Florida along with her two younger sisters. Her parents emigrated from Cuba. Her father lost his battle to leukemia a few months after her birth, leaving her mother to raise three daughters on her own. She credits her mother’s example, being the daughter of immigrants, and the experience of growing up as a Latina in a low-income community, with inspiring her own sense of independence and her desire to achieve and give back to her community and family.
She is currently preparing for her last year as an undergraduate student at Stanford University, where she is majoring in Bioengineering.
In 2015, Ms. Ordoñez was one of the top 99 HSF Scholars who attended HSF’s first National Leadership Conference (NLC). NLC is an annual event that provides an inside track to academic and professional excellence to the best and brightest HSF Scholars, through a combination of mentoring, professional insights, and career guidance. She was also a semi-finalist for HSF’s 2016 Leaders in Education Female Scholar of the Year Award.
An active student on campus, she was a corporate liaison for the Society of Latino Engineers—a group of Latinos in Stanford’s engineering department, who provide peer support to one another, coordinate yearly events, and offer resources while promoting diversity. She also served as Chair for the Undergraduate Senate at Stanford, which she says sparked an interest in public office.
Her plan after graduating college is to pursue a graduate degree in the sciences. After that, she wants to start her own company and eventually run for office, serving as a representative for minority groups and women.
She says that being an HSF Scholar means “being a part of this community, nationwide—of Latinos who have been given this gift to pursue higher education and other opportunities,” and adds, “I don’t think I could ever repay the peace of mind that HSF gave me and my mom.”