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Aspiring Engineer Finds Inspiration Through Her Mentor

Published June 24, 2019

Aspiring Engineer Finds Inspiration Through Her Mentor
Rochelle Barsz

Rochelle Barsz

Rochelle Barsz was excited to create an app for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and learn how to market it during last year’s Girls in Tech event at the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI). But she was also looking for help to guide her career. The Academy’s partnership with Nick Donofrio and NYSCI led her to the 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures program.

After spending a few months in the program, the 17-year-old from Benjamin N. Cardozo High School in Queens, NY, says she feels empowered her engagement with like-minded peers and her mentor.

“My main goal in life is to take my enthusiasm in engineering and mathematics and apply it to the real world,” she said.

We asked Rochelle to tell us a little bit more about her experiences in the program:

What is your favorite thing about the 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures program?

The program takes place on a collaborative platform called Schoology, where we communicate with our mentor through emails and skype calls. We also have conversations with fellow participants in discussion boards. Through the conversations with my mentor, I have become increasingly confident in myself as a woman in science. It is so inspirational to read the comments of my peers around the world who are working to accomplish their dreams. I am now motivated to do the same. 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures has enabled me to apply my love of mathematics.

What do you envision doing in your career?

Engineers are often focused on the design and function of their products, and are often unaware of their application. However, I intend to focus my work on the application of my products so I can witness my impact on the lives of others. For example, over 500 people each day undergo limb amputations, changing the way they live their lives. By developing prostheses and exploring the potential communication between a prosthetic limb and the brain, many areas of engineering intersect, revealing the multidisciplinary nature of engineering projects.

Besides science, what other interest do you have?

I am passionate about music and currently play the flute. As a member of the Queens Symphonic Band, I am surrounded by great instrumentalists. I have learned to listen to other players for my part to fit into the intertwined pieces of music. Being in an ensemble is like being a part of a team; each person has their own responsibilities, but without cooperation and teamwork the music is bound to fall apart.

These skills of working with others expand beyond music into all facets of life, enabling me to learn the true meaning of collaboration and allow me to uncover my true potential.

If you are looking to inspire the next generation of engineers like Rochelle, sign up to be a mentor!