[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Mostly sunny
Mostly sunny
97°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
July 22
2000 - Historic Larinan house in Pico Canyon burns down [story]


Gaby Mendoza walked onto the College of the Canyons campus for the first time three years ago with a lack of direction and no social circle to latch onto.

But as it turns out, those circumstances were only temporary — as with her acceptance to NASA’s National Community College Aerospace Scholars program in August, Mendoza confirmed her transformation from awkward newcomer to role model.

gabymendoza“I didn’t know anything about schools when I came here,” said Mendoza, an Ecuadorian native who first arrived in the United States without family support and completely on her own in January 2010. “I thought I would just go here and transfer and take things from there. But the more exposure I got to certain organizations and companies, the more I realized that it’s competitive out there, and that I’d have to study and put myself into contact with a lot of opportunities if I wanted to present myself as a professional.”

At COC, Mendoza saw an opportunity in the Math Engineering Science Achievement program, which helps financially disadvantaged and underrepresented students gain access to high caliber academic and professional resources.

“Some of our students come in with just a basic knowledge of algebra and trigonometry from their high school experience, others come in having passed advanced placement classes in calculus, so we have a wide range of students” says MESA director Eric Lara of the center’s student demographic. “But the commonality is that they are first generation, educationally disadvantaged college students — so they’re missing that direction and they don’t necessarily know what to look for or where to look for it.”

The program, housed in Aliso Lab, currently accommodates just over 200 College of the Canyons students. MESA participants have access to computers, lockers, faculty and peer tutoring, counseling, priority registration and a warm and enthusiastic learning environment.

Since taking over as program director in early 2014, Lara has developed a standardized curriculum emphasizing GPA improvement, workshop participation, applications for scholarship programs and involvement in career development opportunities.

Pending approval, the MESA center will also be home to the COC chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, a national organization that Mendoza and Lara have worked together to bring to the college in the form of a club.

The relationship between Mendoza, Lara and SHPE is logical given Lara’s educational background — as he earned his Ed.D. in Education through his research and dissertation on the retention of Latino engineering students.

Mendoza, a peer tutor at the MESA center in her spare time, will serve as the club’s first president.

Yet, perhaps Mendoza’s most exciting endeavor is her participation in the NCAS program, which is still in progress after beginning in August.

The NCAS program provides participants with an opportunity to enjoy web-based interactive learning courtesy of NASA professionals. As part of her NCAS experience, Mendoza is required to construct and deploy rovers to Mars, as well as compile reports summarizing the process.

Mendoza is striving to earn eligibility for a 3-day trip to NASA headquarters in Houston, for which she’ll first have to navigate the three online components of her NCAS course.

Each component is followed by a test, in which participants must score at least a 90 percent to move forward. Mendoza has cruised to 100 percent scores on her first two tests.

Some other notable accomplishments of Mendoza’s include her participation in research at California State University at Northridge (CSUN) last summer, as well as her status as a three-time COC Institutional Scholarship recipient.

The 23-year-old also attends monthly paid workshops at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.

“Eric received an e-mail sent to community colleges saying they wanted one student who was mature and involved, and who would take advantage of this program,” said Mendoza of her involvement in the monthly program at JPL. “I guess that’s when he thought of me.”

For more information about the College of the Canyons MESA program and its participation requirements, visit www.canyons.edu/offices/mesa.

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

8 Comments

  1. Moni LC Moni LC says:

    This is pretty amazing. Congratulations!

  2. Stephen Gold Stephen Gold says:

    I don’t know u but that’s Awesome

  3. Keep going…you’re already a winner in my book.

  4. Juanita Mera Juanita Mera says:

    Congrats on your hard work!!!

Leave a Comment


HIGHER EDUCATION LINKS
LOCAL COLLEGE HEADLINES
Friday, Jul 20, 2018
Responding to a booming economy and a generous state budget, administrators on Thursday approved the first tuition decrease for the University of California system in nearly 20 years.
Wednesday, Jul 18, 2018
If you are a member of the U.S. House of Representatives with a private prison in your district, you are also more likely than your peers to co-sponsor punitive immigration legislation, according to a groundbreaking study by California State University, Northridge political science professor Jason Morin.
Friday, Jul 13, 2018
College of the Canyons will accept an additional 500 students to its First-Year Promise program for the fall 2018 semester, an expansion made possible by funding from a new state program called California College Promise.
Wednesday, Jul 11, 2018
Through CSU Fully Online, California State University undergraduate students have the opportunity to take one free fully-online course offered at another CSU campus every term, moving them one step closer to earning a high-quality degree.
Tuesday, Jul 10, 2018
In response to the ever-growing need for skilled workers to meet industry-specific demands, the College of the Canyons Employee Training Institute (ETI) has hired Justin Wallace as Director of Educational Partnerships, a new position at the college.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
2000 - Historic Larinan house in Pico Canyon burns down [story]
1952 - 7.5-magnitude Kern County earthquake devastates Tehachapi; damage spread from San Diego to Las Vegas [story]
The L.A. County Superior Court on July 17 sided with Los Angeles County and dismissed a portion of Chiquita Canyon LLC's complaint, which challenged 13 conditions of the county's conditional use permit governing how the landfill operates, Supervisor Kathryn Barger announced Friday.
Court: Chiquita Landfill Must Comply with CUP, Pay County $12 Mil.
Four men allegedly stole a van and crashed it at Cinema Drive and Valencia Boulevard late Friday afternoon, breaking gas and water lines and snarling rush-hour traffic in the center of the city.
Suspected Van Thieves Crash, Rupture Gas, Water Lines in Valencia
The Los Angeles County Arts Commission has announced $4,518,000 in two-year grants to 216 nonprofit arts organizations through its Organizational Grant Program, and the Santa Clarita Philharmonic Orchestra and the Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival are among the grantees.
Santa Clarita Philharmonic, Shakespeare Festival Win County Arts Grants
The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency's board of directors voted in its Tuesday meeting to revise its per-diem payment policy for board members attending industry-related meetings and conferences.
SCV Water Board Trims Own Meeting Attendance Pay
College of the Canyons men's basketball player Robert Moss will continue his playing career at University of Saint Katherine after committing to join the Firebirds program.
COC Hoopster Robert Moss Commits to University of Saint Katherine
When wives earn more than their husbands, a puzzling thing can happen: Husbands say they earn more than they are and wives underreport their income, according to new Census Bureau research.
Census Research: Spouses Report Earnings Differently When Wives Earn More
Responding to a booming economy and a generous state budget, administrators on Thursday approved the first tuition decrease for the University of California system in nearly 20 years.
University of California Cuts Tuition for First Time in 20 Years
The William S. Hart Union High School District and Spirit Holding, developers of Castaic High School, will host a community kick-off event on Friday, Aug. 3, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. celebrating the one-year countdown to the grand opening of the new school, currently under construction.
Aug. 3: ‘Countdown to Castaic High’ Public Celebration
The next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, July 24, starting at 9:30 a.m.
July 24: LA County Board of Supervisors Meeting
The Los Angeles County Health Officer has issued a Heat Alert for Monday, July 23 and Tuesday, July 24, as high temperatures have been forecast for the Santa Clarita Valley.
SCV Heat Alert Called for Monday, Tuesday
The Lancaster JetHawks jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but two late home runs from Stockton's Sandber Pimentel led the Ports to victory in a 5-4 final on Thursday night at Banner Island Ballpark.
Lancaster Can’t Stop Pimentel, Ports
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and Department of Justice have made public the government's plan for the court-ordered reunification of children ages 5 years and older who were separated from their parents by immigration authorities.
Feds Detail Plan to Reunite Immigrant Children with Parents
2001 - Then-Assemblyman George Runner introduces legislation to memorialize the historic Ridge Route. Enacted Oct. 4. [story]
During a press conference on Thursday at the Gerdau steel mill in Rancho Cucamonga, Chief Eric Parra announced the destruction of 3,566 weapons confiscated within in Los Angeles County. This event comes typically in July, in compliance with California Penal Code 18005(c), which calls for weapons unable to be sold to the public or returned to their owners, to be destroyed.
More than 3,500 Weapons Destroyed at Annual Destruction Event
The Summer Art Festival, at the Oaks Club of Valencia, invites you to a fun, free artists’ reception on Saturday, Aug. 11, 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Aug. 11: Summer Art Festival at Oaks Club
When you think "Advanced Manufacturing," Santa Clarita Valley probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind.
SCV Paves the Way for Advanced Manufacturing
(CN) – Delivering a blow to a Silicon Valley billionaire, the California Supreme Court on Wednesday erased a November ballot measure proposing to divide the Golden State in three.
State Supreme Court Tosses Ballot Measure to Split California in Three
Internationally famous Doña Oxford aka “The Goddess of Soul,” is fronting one of the hottest Blues bands of the 21st century. She has toured all over the world, bringing her amazing keyboard playing and vocals to devoted fans in Europe, Japan, Canada and the United States.
July 20: Valencia Jazz & Blues Series to Feature Doña Oxford
No business is immune from the unthinkable. Workplace violence is an increasingly important topic for organizations of all types.
Aug. 21: Active Shooter Awareness Training at VIA Luncheon
St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish Church is holding their 2nd Annual Summer Night Car Show Friday, Aug. 24 from 6:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Aug. 24: St. Kateri 2nd Annual Summer Night Car Show
The Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative and Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority on Thursday launched the Los Angeles Homeless Outreach Portal, dubbed LA-HOP, the new Countywide Web-based portal that channels outreach support to people experiencing homelessness.
County Launches Online Portal to Combat Homelessness
LOS ANGELES - Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) announced Tuesday the company is now offering $75 rebates for residential customers who purchase eligible Energy Star certified smart thermostats that help residents manage their heating and cooling costs and conserve energy.
SoCal Gas Offering Rebates for Customers with Smart Thermostats
STOCKTON – Brian Serven put together one of his best offensive performances of the season to lead the JetHakwks to a 7-2 to win over the Stockton Ports on Wednesday night at Banner Island Ballpark.
Serven Leads JetHawks to Victory in Series Opener Against Stockton
The William S. Hart Union High School District’s Governing Board voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Brad Renison to become the new Director of Transportation. Most recently, Mr. Renison has been serving as the Interim Director of Transportation.
Hart District Names Brad Renison New Transportation Director
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired four-time All-Star shortstop Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for Rylan Bannon, Yusniel Díaz, Dean Kremer, Zach Pop and Breyvic Valera.
Dodgers Acquire 4-Time All-Star Manny Machado
The William S. Hart Union High School District’s Governing Board voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Dr. Catherine Nicholas to become the new principal of Sequoia School.
Hart District Appoints Dr. Catherine Nicholas as New Sequoia School Principal
Welcome to paradise at a high-energy, live show coming up in Santa Clarita’s Concerts in the Park series, presented by Logix Federal Credit Union, this Saturday, July 21, at 7:00 p.m., in Central Park (27150 Bouquet Canyon Road).
July 21: Concerts in the Park to Feature Green Day Tribute Band
SCV Sheriff's Crime Prevention Unit deputies and station detectives have noted an increase in the thefts of catalytic converters from cars in Santa Clarita Valley. The favored target of thieves has been the Toyota Prius (2005-2009).
Deputies Warn of Rise in Catalytic Converter Thefts from Prius Cars
LOS ANGELES – According to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, air quality will be unhealthy Thursday for sensitive individuals in San Gabriel Valley, Santa Clarita Valley and Antelope Valley.
Air Quality Advisory Issued for SCV
Would you like to be a volunteer at beautiful Red Rock Canyon State Park? Learn about the volunteer program and the park’s natural and cultural history at our two-day volunteer training, Saturdays, Sept. 1st and 8th from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at the Ricardo Visitor Center (new volunteers must attend both days).
Red Rock Canyon State Park to Hold 2-Day Volunteer Training
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) announces the scheduled closure of the Tejon Safety Roadside Rest Areas on Interstate 5 (Golden State Freeway) to replace a water main line.
Caltrans Announces Temporary Rest Area Closure on I-5 at Tejon
1924 - Sherman Block, L.A. County's 29th Sheriff (1982-1998), born in Chicago [story]
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies have arrested a Santa Clarita woman who allegedly spray-painted walls on a city park building in Saugus early Tuesday morning, also discovering she was allegedly in possession of forged checks.
Woman Charged with Defacing Park Building, Check Forgery
The Paramount Network has set Aug. 11 as the premiere date of 'I Am Paul Walker,' a new film documentary tracing the life of the late actor, who was killed in a 2013 car crash in Valencia.
Aug. 11: Paul Walker Film Doc to Debut on Paramount Network