November 2016, Volume 20, Number 5

Powerful Partnerships

A Steady Focus on STEM

Jessenia Guerra
Jessenia Guerra, an MDC Honors College alumna, is working on a fellowship program with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.

Jessenia Guerra, an MDC Honors College grad, recently began an exciting fellowship with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) that puts her in the center of policymaking on Capitol Hill.

Guerra earned an MDC associate degree in 2011, a bachelor’s degree at the University of Florida, then worked as an educator with Teach for America for three years. As one of an elite group of young leaders chosen for CHCI’s nine-month program in Washington, D.C., she is now spending half her time working with a policy-focused nonprofit and the other half in the office of a congressional representative. She’s focusing on crafting policies to help underserved communities improve education in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

“STEM jobs are very lucrative in the private sector, so it can be difficult to attract people to teaching,” Guerra said. “We need to incentivize teaching positions and provide educational training to STEM-trained people who want to teach. Just because you’re an excellent scientist doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll also be a great teacher.”

Guerra says her MDC education was the perfect preparation for a career in education policy.

“The Honors College at Wolfson Campus both pushed and supported me,” she said. “In MDC’s Salzburg Global Seminar I got my first taste of policy work while working on a case study on immigration.”


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