Once a little girl with big dreams, now on point to becoming a future engineer; who would’ve thought that simply trying something new would lead to many life-changing experiences for which I am forever grateful? Growing up, I always had a desire to build things, explore new ideas, and help others, all of which steered me toward an interest in engineering. I’ve also always loved math and science, so I went into high school with the mindset that I definitely wanted to become an engineer, although I wasn’t exactly sure how to get there.
During the summer before my junior year at my all-girls high school, I attended a one-week robotics camp at our brother school, (which happens to be an all-boys learning environment). I was simply hoping to better understand what it means to be an engineer. I had no idea what to expect; I had rarely been around a male environment for the past few years, and when I learned that I was the only girl enrolled in the camp, I was a little nervous. I had a wonderful time though, and not only did I become a part of the team, but I accepted an offer to take a Project Lead The Way (PLTW) engineering class at the brother school on a trial basis. I am now two years in and the classes have really strengthened my hopes of becoming an engineer in the future. Additionally, these experiences have greatly contributed to my confidence in working in an all-male environment.
As part of the Robotics Team, I have learned a lot about dedication, leadership, and teamwork. As a female, I had to work hard to gain the respect of my teammates, and starting off, I didn’t really feel like I had much of a voice. With encouragement from both my mother and my teacher, I soon felt more comfortable pitching in and coming up with ideas for my team. I’m now looking forward to attending Cal Poly Pomona and majoring in Mechanical Engineering, a male-dominated field. I’m incredibly glad to have gone through all of these experiences, and I would encourage other young girls to go after their dreams, no matter the difficulties.
“Breann has been a very influential member of the Damien/St Lucy’s Robotics Teams. Although Damien High School is an all-male school, it recognizes the importance of gender-based equality. It is important for both young men and women to learn how to work together and see each other as equals.” – Ms. Trojanowski, Physics & Engineering Teacher, Robotics Head Coach
Breann Garcia, Senior, St. Lucy’s Priory High School