Breaking Barriers: Stephanie’s Story of Hope

Stories of Hope

Stephanie Gago, Esperanza Academy Class of 2012, is a woman of intelligence and perseverance now paving the way for other women in a male-dominated field. Working diligently through AP Calculus, attending Esperanza Academy’s Prep Zone for homework assistance, and learning from many financial aid and college scholarship workshops hosted by the College & Career Department, Stephanie seized each opportunity provided to take determined steps towards her goal of obtaining a science/engineering degree.

Stephanie says, “I always say that my relationship with the teachers truly helped shape me. The respect I had for them and the respect they had for me truly made me work harder and inspired me to break barriers”.

In 2013, her hard work paid off and Stephanie earned a spot in Penn State’s Civil Engineering program.
Stephanie believes she was the only Latina in her graduating class and oftentimes was the only woman in the engineering classrooms. While she often felt like she did not fit in at college, through consistent hard work and persistence, she pressed on!

Stephanie now works in New York as an Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) engineer. Her career is everything she wanted it to be: secure, innovative, and with a good salary that she can use to help her family as well. Engineering is an extremely difficult and rigorous degree but also an excellent career choice. It is wonderful to see how Stephanie is excelling in her field and applying her hard work and intelligence to her workplace. She is an example for many young girls and students who are dreaming of careers in STEM to better our world!