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Manuela Mena


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University of Oregon

Bachelor's degree program
2021 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Geography and Environmental Studies


  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Environmental Services

    • Dream career goals:

      Minority/BIPOC Students in STEM Scholarship
      My name is Manuela Mena, my parents are Salvadoran but I grew up in Guatemala and I had a big backyard where I used to love playing with dirt and looking for little insects. While years passed my interest for nature and the environment kept growing with me. I moved to the United States 6 years ago, and I gained awareness and I was more conscious of all the issues and problems we have with our environment and the minorities in the United States. The first time I learned about environmental racism and environmental justice I knew that's what I wanted to works toward and target those issues. Myself being Latinx, and seeing how my people are usually one of the targets when it comes to environmental racism, opened my eyes and made me realize how much we needed Latinx people working in the field and making kids aware of these issues. The lack of awareness and Latinx communities not having an idea of the environmental issues they are experiencing such as pollution in the environment, the lack of clean/drinking water, and lack of sanitation is really heartbreaking. I felt the need of me being the one that would spread this information and share my knowledge with my community, seeing how there are not really a lot of scientists or people in the field that speak Spanish and therefore the information does not get to Latinx communities. I want to break barriers. Language, health, racism, poverty are all barriers that my community experiences and that I would love to make an impact on those fields. I would love to be a role model to little kids and show them that it is possible and there are resources for us to succeed. I hope to inspire kids to help their community and also help inspire others to do that. I know environmental issues are not something that I will be able to change or solve, but I know I have a powerful voice and a powerful impact; I am able to change the lives of my community and other communities that I resemble with. Me being an immigrant, Latinx, woman, first-gen, and bilingual student and soon to be a graduate I can relate and understand the struggles my people have been through and there is no better way than tackling an issue than you being part of the issue and then trying to resolve it. I believe I can make an impact in my own community and inspire others, that would be my main goal.