BOSTON, Massachusetts – March 25, 2015 – 8th grade students at the Roxbury Prep Charter School in Dorchester, MA got a chance to meet and hear experiences from a group of professional engineers last week during their class with Ms. Meekerley Sanon.

The Boston Chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE Boston) is a non-profit organization serving the New England area. One of their goals is to educate and spark interest in pre-college students to motivate them to study science and engineering.

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Axel Vigo, Angel Arvelo, Juana Paniagua, Victor Esparza and Elvia Bautista, engineers from SHPE Boston, visited 8th grade students to talk about their respective engineering fields and how they got to where they are now professionally.

After the engineers talked to the students about the different fields in engineering, the students engaged in a Q&A session that included questions such as: “What are the challenges of being a latino working in the USA?”, “What do you do in a typical day?” and “What does it take to study and succeed in engineering?”. The event also included a product development activity where the students had to develop a product/device to solve a specific problem in 5 minutes and present it to the class for critique.


After the visit, students filled out a feedback form that included some of the following remarks:

“I was inspired by the fact that Hispanics who are always seen as unsuccessful in life were able to go to college, graduate and become professional engineers. This just goes to show that anyone can do it too”

“Victor Esparza because he worked very hard and he’s going into robotics which is very, very interesting and I would love to do something like that one day.”

“I was kind of inspired by Axel Vigo and Angel Arvelo because they both seemed to have fun doing their jobs.”

“What inspired me was Victor Esparza and Axel Vigo because they really brought out the inner geek in me because I love robotics and computers.”

“The thing that inspired me from Friday’s visit was that they are young and have well-paying jobs so it makes me believe that I can do the same.”

“What inspired me from Friday’s visit was what Juana said, that no one is better than anyone else. No matter if they are more skilled at something, you can always try. Elvia also inspired me because even though at first she didn’t speak English thoroughly, she still worked herself up until should speak English and even start her own company.”

“Elvia has a strong accent, but she doesn’t let that stop her from doing what she loves to do. She worked so hard and now she is rewarded with her own company. Her company is small, but every day she gets to go to meetings to put her company’s name out there, so it can become a big success.”

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