California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA)
Great Minds in STEM’s (GMiS) Edison International Scholarship recipient, Jorge Hernandez, joins us from California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) as an Engineering Technology major. As a child, Jorge always questioned how things worked, as many budding young engineers do. He would spend his free time disassembling non-functioning electrical items, mainly Bluetooth speakers, and refurbishing them. Jorge was also no stranger to the manufacturing process. At a young age, Jorge’s father introduced him to blueprints as well as how to properly use bandsaws, drill presses, grinders, and other heavy machinery. This introduction further encouraged Jorge to pursue engineering.
Although a model student now, Jorge was faced with difficulties along his academic journey. Being a first-generation student, Jorge was faced with not only academic struggles, but personal struggles as well. During his high school years, Jorge struggled with algebra concepts. This hurdle caused Jorge to rethink his pursuit of engineering. Through hard work, adaptability, and self-motivation he has been able to overcome the challenges he once faced. As a result, he now holds a 3.61 GPA, is in the top 10% of his graduating class at CSULA and has also completed an internship at the Department of Energy Long Beach Clean Cities. During his time at CSULA, Jorge has also joined in extra-curricular activities with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). As part of ASME, Jorge worked on a project called the University Rover Challenge. There, he was able to become proficient in drafting program, SolidWorks, as well as build his interpersonal skills. Jorge has also devoted his time to volunteering with Great Minds in STEM.
Jorge was not only part of the Class of 2022 GMiS Scholars, but he also volunteered as a 2022 Conference Delegate. As a Conference Delegate, Jorge was an extension of the GMiS staff at the conference and served as a university ambassador. He is also no stranger to the GMiS Viva Technology Program. While at the conference, he assisted the middle school Viva Technology Program where 125 students came together to build a “Natural Gas Vehicle” for Shell USA, Inc. He has also participated as a virtual College Captain volunteer for the virtual Viva Technology programs. There, he led a group of middle school students in creating their very own circuits using a breadboard and LEDs. Jorge has shared that the reason he has continued to volunteer with GMiS was because he “Wants to give the younger generation benefits and better opportunities in which they can be equally successful compared to a neighborhood of higher income.” With this mindset, Jorge has included outreach in his future goals.
Jorge’s future plans include excelling at his summer internship with the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) and graduating in May 2024 from CSULA with a degree in Engineering Technology. Jorge plans to use his degree within the renewable energy industry and continue his education at the University of Southern California (USC) with a Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering/Engineering Management. While continuing his studies, Jorge also plans on remaining a role model in his community and eventually creating a program of his own that aid children with unfair opportunities. Jorge envisions a future where students of lower income neighborhoods will have an equal opportunity to be successful because they will not be discriminated against. We believe in you, Jorge!