This past weekend, I was given the opportunity to join hundreds of other science students at the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) conference, held in Lisle, IL. This program is a resource for colleges and universities who would like to diversify the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) workforce in the future. Being surrounded by other students who had the same ambitions as myself was enriching and rewarding because they inspired me to continue striving for more.
The conference only lasted for a day and yet it was such an informative 24 hours. Some students from DePaul presented poster presentations about the research that they are currently doing in the research labs they are a part of while others gave oral presentations on different aspects of their research as well. Along with the presentations, the food was excellent and the speakers were phenomenal! It was such a great experience.
More importantly, this conference helped me to understand more about other fields in the STEM disciplines as well as gain insights into things I was not familiar with originally. Having the support of different minorities within your field is very unique and very appreciated because that type of support is vital to your success. When people are engaged and interested in the same things, it is very motivating.
Being at an institution where there are many different religions, nationalities, beliefs and even opinions, it is easy to feel alone in your academic and social journey here at DePaul. Joining organizations is something that I strongly suggest anyone strive to do because it gives you a sense of community on DePaul’s campus and gives you tools and resources to use in order to help make your college years more enjoyable. Being in organizations such as DeSACNAS where we focus on minorities in science helped me to get to the LSAMP conference. It is important that we all do things that will help us reach that next step in life. Once you begin to join organizations on your school's campus, it may be your ticket across the world!