Oct 05, 2023 | Paola Pinto The College of Science at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), a part of the University of Alabama System, takes pride in commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month, honoring the rich contributions and experiences of its Hispanic students. As part of this celebration, we sat down with two remarkable students from the college to discuss their journeys, inspirations, and aspirations. Sebastian Rivera teaching his Introductory Python class Sebastian Rivera, a graduate student in the Computer Science Department specializing in cybersecurity, shared his story of moving from Puerto Rico to Huntsville in 2017. Sebastian's initial exposure to computer science was exploratory, but he quickly realized it was about more than just programming. It involved understanding the intricate mathematics behind how computers function, communicate with hardware, organize data, and operate operating systems. Sebastian successfully completed his bachelor's in computer science in fall 2022 and seamlessly transitioned to his master's program.Rivera's journey was not without its challenges; adjusting to a new culture and dealing with the challenges of the program really pushed him to his limits. However, the support from his professors and peers helped him overcome these hurdles and find his passion in cybersecurity. Today, as a teaching assistant for introductory Python courses, Sebastian pays it forward by helping other students discover their potential in computer science. Photo caption: Amy Bucio on her CAD class Amy Bucio, a freshman in UAH's Engineering Technology program, embarked on her educational journey when her family moved to Huntsville from Michoacan, Mexico, seeking proximity to relatives who had already settled in the area. As the first member of her family to attend a four-year college, Amy's path was marked by determination and resilience. However, her journey took an inspiring turn during a transformative seventh-grade field trip to the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing plant in Huntsville, Alabama. This visit exposed her to the empowering stories of women engineers at the forefront of innovation, sparking a profound passion for engineering. Her pursuit of higher education was made possible through her involvement with programs like "Cap and Gown," which provided her with guidance and support to navigate the college application process. Currently navigating her first year of college, Amy is enjoying her first semester at UAH and is excited about future adventures. Sebastian Rivera (second from left to right) and other members of UAH's Society of Hispanic Engineers Rivera and Bucio are both active members of UAH's Society of Hispanic Engineers (SHE), a dynamic club dedicated to fostering unity and collaboration among Hispanic students, no matter their majors. SHE isn't just a club; it's a vibrant presence in the community, inspiring young minds to pursue higher education and feel the representation of Hispanics in STEM.Sebastian Rivera holds a leadership role within SHE, specifically focusing on fundraising. His tenacious commitment is evident in his dedication to supporting fellow Hispanic students in STEM fields and nurturing a strong sense of community at UAH. These students demonstrate the importance of following one's passions, seeking support, and embracing growth opportunities. They give some advice to other students: Be true to yourself. Explore your interests. Don't be afraid to seek guidance and support from mentors and programs that can help you navigate the journey toward your academic and career goals. As we observe Hispanic Heritage Month, it's essential to recognize the diverse voices and stories that enhance our educational institutions and communities. These stories are crucial in creating a more inclusive and promising future for everyone: Happy Hispanic Heritage Month, Feliz Mes de la Hispanidad.