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Lusangelis R., 21 – FUNDED

“I am so proud to represent and be an advocate for the next generation of women in STEAM as the New Face of Tech, which is something that I want to continuously do throughout my career,” says New Face of Tech winner Lusangelis R.

Her dream is to travel the world and contribute to healthcare accessibility for women, migrants, and other marginalized communities both as a scientist and as a policy maker. She is currently a third-year student (Class of 2025) at Yale College, majoring in Neuroscience and pursuing a Global Health Studies certificate.

What does being the New Face of Tech mean to you?

It means that I am part of a community of women that will revolutionize the tech field. I am very grateful for this opportunity and I hope to inspire other women in STEAM to never let go of their dreams and aspirations — even when it gets hard.

Women are underrepresented in STEAM. How can we change this?

Women are not only underrepresented in STEAM, but we have faced a long history of being excluded from these fields. Despite that, there are women whose brilliance and determination have forever left a mark on STEAM fields and have made invaluable contributions to our knowledge today.

Women are not underrepresented in STEAM because there’s a lack of ability or curiosity, but because purposeful intent and accessibility on behalf of STEAM fields also influence our representation. Investing in women’s STEAM education and goals, female mentorship, and building spaces for women in STEAM to be in community with each other are extremely important steps in closing the gap. Creating safe environments that establish respect and encourage growth and learning for women is also another step that STEAM fields can actively pursue to be more inclusive of women.

It is also vital to recognize that women are not a monolith either. Women of color, queer women, disabled women, and immigrant women face challenges perpetuated by different systems that reach beyond the patriarchy. This calls into question the challenging of power dynamics that exist in workplaces, communities, and in our larger society. Do women in a particular STEAM workplace feel comfortable expressing their ideas? Do they have support if someone in a position of power is undermining them? Do they feel like their workplace is doing everything possible so they can show up as their best possible selves? Do women in STEAM feel like their work and contributions are being valued and are they paid accordingly?

These are only a few of the important questions that STEAM fields and workplaces need to ask in order to close the gender gap.

What are some of the challenges you have faced along the way?

As a first-generation, low-income, queer, disabled, immigrant Latina woman in the United States, I’ve faced many challenges in my life. One of the biggest challenges that I have had to face is getting rid of my own limiting beliefs and my own doubts of my potential. I’ve struggled with embracing my mistakes and the challenges that have shaped me into the person I am today. I’ve worked hard for everything I have accomplished and sometimes it’s easy to forget that there is so much power in my will and in my unique ways of navigating the world.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

I acknowledge how far I’ve come in my life and think about all the great things the future holds for me. I am also a really big planner and I’m always researching what my next step is which keeps me very excited about all the other milestones I will hit soon. Being surrounded by supportive people — family, friends, and others who have been following my journey and who encourage me — has been incredibly important in helping me stay focused on my goals, as well.

How will funding from the 1,000 Dreams Fund and HARMAN help you reach your goals?

It will support me in pursuing educational resources and experiences that will open doors for me in my career.