MIT Women's Initiative Makes Impact at CJ and Around Dayton

While on break from college, many students may relax and catch-up with family and friends. Students who attend the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), however, have another option during their month long winter break.

Patricia Chan and Mariela Perez-Cabarcas, current sophomores at MIT, gave a presentation to young women at CJ this week as part of the MIT Women’s Initiative. For one week during their winter break, women from MIT taking part in the Women’s Initiative are all over the country sharing the importance and need for more women in STEM fields.

“We shared that you don’t have to look a certain way to be a STEM professional,” Perez-Cabarcas said. “Whatever your background is, whatever your education level is, it’s possible to go into a STEM field. You shouldn’t be limited by your gender or anything.”

For both Chan and Perez-Cabarcas, they said they knew from an early stage that they were interested in STEM topics.

“When I was younger, STEM subjects were easier for me compared to the humanities,” Chan shared. “Knowingly or unknowingly, I was more interested in doing things like taking things apart so I could see what they look like and problem solving.”

Both women shared that they hope to be working in their field of study after graduating from MIT. 

“I’m studying mechanical engineering,” Chan said. “I hope to get a job in the industry or work with a non-profit. I may also do something like environmental engineering.”

“I’m studying electrical engineering, computer science and neuroscience,” Perez-Cabarcas shared. “I’m interested in working for the Department of Defense and doing something with brain-computer interfaces.”

During their time in Ohio, Chan and Perez-Cabarcas also spoke and inspired young girls at Bishop Leibold, St. Albert, St. Helen, Holy Angels and St. Christopher. You can learn more about the MIT Women’s Initiative here.

Posted January 16, 2020