A select group of Bakersfield College students recently honed their leadership skills at a special invitation-only conference in San Diego for math-based majors. The event was sponsored by the California Utilities Diversity Council. The 10th annual Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Student Leadership Conference offered extensive professional and leadership development through direct interaction with industry mentors and speakers. The hand-picked MESA students, all science, engineering, or math majors, represented over 30 universities and community colleges from across the state, including Bakersfield College.
Participating Bakersfield College engineering students were: Antonio Arevalo, Marco Guerra, Andres Leyva, Joanna Moraza.
Students participated in mock interviews, connected with industry representatives from 16 national and California companies and heard guest speakers. MESA alumnus Senator Alex Padilla encouraged students to work hard and strive for success, and was honored with the MESA Outstanding Alumni Award.
Bakersfield College students were sponsored by Pacific Gas & Electric Company. Their generous contribution allowed students from Central California campuses to attend. Pacific Gas & Electric Company employees volunteered their time to work closely with the students during the conference.
MESA promotes STEM success for more than 28,000 educationally disadvantaged secondary, community college and four-year college students in California through project-based learning, academic counseling and exposure to STEM careers, so they can graduate from college with math-based degrees. Seventy percent of MESA high school graduates statewide went directly to college after graduation compared to 48 percent of all California graduates. Sixty percent of MESA students go on to math, science or engineering majors.