philName: Philip Ye

VISTA Host Site: Jay Pinson STEM Education Program

Alma Mater: University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz

Major: Biology and Psychology

Background:  As an undergrad, I was amazed by all the awesome opportunities I had around me. I began my first two years of undergrad as solely a Biology student. For the first two years, I was involved with the Academic excellence (ACE) program. I met many other aspiring STEM students and we were able to get together, form study groups and create review sessions for each other.  As I reached my third year I had an underlying passion for Psychology, so I went on to pursue a double major. I started my psychology courses during my junior year and that propelled me into my internship at the Live Oak Resource center. There, I was able to work on mentoring and counseling foster youth all around Santa Cruz County. On the side, I was a learning technologies consultant and worked in the computer labs all around UCSC.

Why I serve: I was searching through AmeriCorps jobs and when I read through the descriptions of all the different places to serve, the STEM in CSU STEM VISTA caught my eye. It was a field I was experienced and familiar with. As I read more about the jobs description and the population that I would be serving, I knew that a CSU STEM VISTA is what I wanted to be.

DSC00208Ah-ha moment: During our orientation, we met our site supervisor and she asked me if I would rather work with college or K-12 students. Up till then, I had convinced myself that working with children was not for me, so I answered “college students.” As my VISTA year progressed, we had multiple afterschool classroom visits at various elementary schools. I saw that I would always find a way to make it to those afterschool site visits so I can teach STEM to these wonderful minds. I discovered that I had another passion, and that was working with children.

Future Goals: In the future, I see myself either pursuing a career in education, or a masters in Clinical Psychology. The CSU STEM VISTA program has provided me with many chances to improve my leadership and communication skills. I have been given the opportunity to be the leader in many different projects as well as strengthening bonds between the Jay Pinson STEM education program and its community members.

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