Delegate of the Week

Juan Avila      
California State University, Los Angeles

Since he was a child, Juan Avila has had a natural desire to learn more about the electronic devices around him and how they work. In sixth grade, Juan got his first-ever desktop computer. He recalls his initial excitement, “My first instinct was to open it up and see how everything worked.” Interested in specializing in electronics, he decided to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA).

Since his freshman year in 2018, Juan has made an active effort to support other aspiring STEM students through his volunteer work. As both a MESA Student Assistant and a member of the Wilson Mules Alumni Association, Juan has implemented a MESA program in his former high school aimed to get students involved in STEM projects. As a member of CSULA’s SHPE chapter, he has served as both Projects Manager and Outreach Committee Lead, organizing events like Noche de Ciencias. Additionally, Juan is an active member of both the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Association of Computer Machinery. He remarks, “The experiences I seek are those inspiring the next generation of students to pursue a degree in STEM.”

Juan discovered Great Minds in STEM (GMiS) during his senior year of high school when he was awarded a 2017 Scholarship sponsored by The Boeing Company. Afterward, he became more involved by participating in GMiS’ Viva Technology Programs as a College Captain. In this role, he supervised and mentored younger students during a series of STEM-based competitions and activities. Juan was later selected to serve as a Delegate at the 2019 GMiS Conference in Orlando, Florida. He explains how attending the Conference impacted him, “If it wasn’t for GMiS, I would have never been exposed to opportunities that would help me find a mentor, land an internship, and help out communities like mine.”

Having established himself as an Undergraduate Researcher at CSULA, Juan was selected for Google’s 2019 Hardware Product Sprint Program, in which he worked with a team of 28 students to design and fabricate consumer electronics. Currently, he is interning at South California Edison in the company’s Telecommunication Infrastructure department.

After graduating in May of 2021, Juan hopes to become a software or hardware engineer for Google or Apple. Through his community involvement, he has set an outstanding example for future generations of STEM students. Great Minds in STEM would like to thank Juan for the profound impact he has made on the lives of others and proudly recognizes him as Delegate of the Week.

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