Fabiola is an Advocate
My name is Fabiola Juárez and I am a first-generation college student. I am a post-baccalaureate fellow and I study the structure-function relationship of proteins in health or disease states. The windy yet rewarding career exploration path combined with legal status issues took me from being a waitress to a nurse assistant to a soon-to-be PhD student. This is the reason I advocate for science career awareness and care about helping first-generation college students.
I am originally from a small agricultural town called Romita in Guanajuato, México. Twelve years after my father passed away from a liver disease and without knowing any English, my family and I immigrated to the U.S. searching for a better future. For my family this meant to find almost any labor job that would pay for the bills and food. But something in me knew that if I went to college I would help my family and community even more. So, I went to community college to pursue a nursing degree. After some time in the field I realized that it was not a fit for me. I was curious about disease mechanisms. Once at Cal State L.A. where I majored in Biology, I discovered that scientific research was what I wanted to do for my career. I am happy about where I am in my career and I would like to share what my experience has been as a first-generation college student in science.