OjoOido Intergenerational Latina Role Model: Rebeca Yanes

OjoOido is honored to feature Rebeca Yanes as its latest Intergenerational Latina Role Model. Team OjoOido was first introduced to Rebeca when OjoOido attended the Latinas Think Big Innovation Summit at Google held earlier this month. Rebeca, a college senior, is currently pursuing her B.S. in Mathematical and Computational Science and M.S. in Management Science and Engineering, Operations and Analytics at Stanford University.

OjoOido’s Intergenerational Latino Role Models showcase Latino Talent in a diversity of fields and endeavors and provide tangible examples of what can be achieved both professionally and personally through individual goal setting, time management and prioritization. All part of OjoOido’s driving mission to improve the academic lives of Latino youth in the US.

Team OjoOido has developed three categories to select our Role Models. First, the OjoOido Role Model has demonstrated ethical conduct that serves as an ethical template for the exercise of adult responsibilities. Second, the OjoOido Role Model serves as a symbol of special achievement. Third, the OjoOido Role Model must be a nurturer that can provide special educational services.

A Latina Breaking Barriers in the STEM Field

Rebeca YanesOjoOido is honored to feature Rebeca Yanes as its latest Intergenerational Latina Role Model. Team OjoOido was first introduced to Rebeca when OjoOido attended the Latinas Think Big Innovation Summit at Google held in October. Rebeca was featured as one of the Summit’s six Latina innovators and delivered a powerful Lightning Talk highlighting her Latina background and STEM related studies to the audience. Rebeca, a college senior, is currently pursuing her B.S. in Mathematical and Computational Science and M.S. in Management Science and Engineering, Operations and Analytics at Stanford University. Click here to watch a sneak peak of Rebeca’s OjoOido Latina Role Model Video. Her full Role Model video series can be accessed, once registered, on theOjo-HowTo Video page.

Latina Heritage

As Rebeca shares with us in her OjoOido Latina Role Model Video, she was born in Caracas, Venezuela and immigrated to the United States, specifically to California, when she was three-years-old. Rebeca’s Latina heritage is very much apart of her identity. She speaks of remaining largely in touch with her culture through speaking Spanish at home and Venezuelan cooking, despite having grown up primarily in California. Rebeca is empowered by her Venezuelan background and attributes being Latina as providing her with many “opportunities to stand out” and “excel” in both her chosen academic and extracurricular interests.

While empowered by her Latina heritage, Rebeca speaks candidly about the fact that her academic journey has not been without its hurdles, noting that it “has not always been easy for [her] to get to where [she is] today.” Rebeca has faced, and continually overcomes, dealing with stress from her academic workload, at times feeling out of place when she looks around the classroom and notices she is the only female with tan skin, and the common felt fear of failure. Yet, instead of being paralyzed by such commonly experienced student fears, Rebeca speaks of turning these hurdles into motivating factors that help debunk stereotypes and have helped her carve her way to get where she is today.

Use of Study Skills & Time Management to Succeed Academically and in Extracurriculars

From a young age, Rebeca recalls having a strong interest and pull towards math. Her interest in math developed throughout her academic career and ultimately Rebeca identified this as her particular area of academic strength that she wanted to pursue. As discussed, Rebeca recommends letting your academic interests guide you, it is important to “do what you like to do” and cultivate your areas of strength. Rebeca eloquently identifies a fundamental tenant of OjoOido’s pedagogy, that is, the first and most important strategy of academic achievement is to recognize that you are responsible for your own learning. You must take responsibility for your own learning. You must be responsible and manage your time and efforts for creating your own future, as Rebeca exemplifies.

Early on Rebeca committed herself to spending time developing and pursuing her own interests and skills and recommends that all students identify their own academic and extracurricular interests that best suits their aptitude. Once you are able to identify your particular area of interest then, just as Rebeca did, “spend time on [this] something” and “make sure you are a leader in it.” Making choices, both about what you will do and what you won’t do, requires the courage to take action and confidence to abandon an alternative. Rebeca made a conscious and deliberate choice to play upon her particular area of strength and then applied that to her own course selections, in her case selecting to major in the field of Mathematical and Computational Science at Stanford University.

By her own admittance, “academics is just a piece of who [she is].” Rebeca recognizes the value of having balance in her own life. Making time for your school work, as well as spending time with your family, friends and pursuing non-academic interests, only makes you a more successful student, provided that your time is managed properly. Rebeca has many areas of interest that she feels passionate about and as such, she continually strives to be a leader in all these areas without sacrificing her academic responsibilities. How is Rebeca able to maintain her demanding studies while also Chairing Stanford’s Guiding Concilio (El Centro Chicano Advisory Board), serving as President of Stanford’s Society of Latino Engineers and being the Founder and Vice President of Stanford’s Venezuelan Student Association? Making efficient use of her time so that Rebeca is able to juggle her academic commitments with her other developed extracurricular interests, in her case sports, music and leadership roles, requires the direct application of goal setting, time management and prioritization.

Rebeca is able to compartmentalize her passions and her academics so she has time to fit them all into her daily routine. Rebeca proves that if you make effective use of time management, everything you love, along with your responsibilities, will come to fruition.  It is clear from Rebeca’s academic story, musical pursuits and many leadership roles, that her conscious and deliberate use of study habits/skills—the processes of learning to achieve effective study practices—allows her to juggle multiple demands.

OjoOido Principles Embodied

OjoOido Role Models, Rebeca Yanes and Sabine Harrington, serve as powerful and tangible examples that Latina women can and do succeed in their STEM studies and the STEM field. As poignantly stated by Dr. Frances Colon, Deputy Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State at the U.S. Department, at the Latinas Think Big Innovation Summit, we must encourage STEM careers among our Latina students to maintain our competitive edge. A critical step to providing this encouragement comes in the form of visibility: “Latinas are not seeing enough of you. If they can’t see you, they can’t be you…they need to see you.” Rebeca and Sabine are directly answering Dr. Colon’s call to action. They are making themselves seen. Rebeca and Sabine go beyond just making themselves seen as OjoOido Intergenerational Latina Role Models, they both offer their time and personal academic journeys to inspire other Latina/o students. Team OjoOido thanks them for their courage and commitment to improving the academic lives of Latino youth in the U.S.

As an OjoOido Intergenerational Latina Role Model,  Rebeca “brings home” the idea that Latino students can and should be helped to develop conscious, deliberate control over the mechanisms of their own learning. Although the set of study habits/skills is large, the core fundamental skills are time-management, goal-setting, prioritization, utilizing the Time Matrix, and writing a study action plan—all skills taught and supported by the OjoOido Time Management Module.

The OjoOido Latino Role Models go beyond simply conveying information and inspiring you. They actually demonstrate how the OjoOido Time Management Module results in not only success with your academics, but a healthy lifestyle, filled with your passions and non-academic interests. Our Role Model’s backgrounds and accomplishments demonstrate that all students can – and will succeed – with the opportunity to learn and grow; regardless of cultural or socio-economic obstacles that may stand in their way. Throughout their lives they have demonstrated a record of problem solving, creating, developing and executing tactical and strategic planning to successfully achieve their goals. All students are capable of creating this type of success for themselves by integrating our OjoOido Role Models’ advice into their daily routine.

The OjoOido Latino Role Models prove that success is there for you when you learn the techniques outlined in the OjoOido Modules. You will never find yourself dismissing an opportunity with the overly used phrase “I don’t have time” because you have learned how to schedule your day and early evening so that you can fit in all you need to accomplish. Irrespective of your particular interests or personal goals, all are achieved the same way, with the effective use of time management, prioritization and goal setting. See, hear and learn from OjoOido’s Intergenerational Latino Role Models.

The OjoOido team applauds Rebeca for her ethical conduct, special achievement and nurturing commitment to improving the lives of other Latino students by sharing her personal academic journey and development of life skills.

See. Hear. Learn!

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