June 2009, Volume 13, Number 6

Features - MDC Grads

Family Legacy: Elizabeth Gómez

Little Elizabeth Gómez was thrilled to learn about engineering first-hand when visiting her father at Mexico’s only nuclear power plant in Veracruz. But when she was 13, those visits ended when he died. This year she honors his memory by graduating with an associate degree in environmental engineering.

“He was the biggest influence,” she said. “He took me to the plant and I was so fascinated by it. He always wanted me to study something related to technology.” 

Gómez plans to continue her studies on the greener side of engineering, but she needs scholarship support to study out of state. She has been accepted to the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and to the University of Michigan. Her plans include an eventual master’s degree and work in a field such as waste management or water filtration. 

“My goal is to go back to Mexico and design water systems for communities that are very poor,” she said. 
Gómez and her mother, of Cuban heritage, moved from Mexico to Miami for her senior year at Braddock G. Holmes Senior High. She spent the following year waiting for her residency papers, as she could not afford out-of-state tuition at MDC, and says the scholarship to the Honors College was a great blessing.

“The classes are super. You get to know the professors,” she said. “It was the best decision of my life.”

— James Harper

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