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Sophia Sánchez-Maes

Place of birth:

Las Cruces, NM

Family Heritage:

Mexico

Education:

Astrophysics and Computer Science at Yale University

Current job:

Summer Researcher at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Bio

Hey there! Sophia here - right now, I work in NASA's exoplanet exploration program. Looking up at the sky you see more stars you can count... turns out, each of those is a sun just like ours, shining on planets like ours, and others that are way weirder! I get to spend my time working to discover those planets, and learn more about them.

Bio

Right now, I also get to work towards the next generation of space telescopes, which will allow us to take pictures of those faraway worlds, see the seasons change... and maybe even discover our first evidence for life.

Why would you recommend exploring careers in science and technology to other Latina girls?

With science and technology, you empower yourself to do pretty much anything. When I was 15, it was clear I was going to need to get a job, so my parents got me a work permit. Since I knew how to code, I was able to get a job working in science instead of flipping burgers. Now I'm at NASA. If I didn't know how to code, my whole life trajectory would be very different. But it's more than that - technology influences all of our lives in such powerful ways, it's important that our voices are heard in the room where it happens.

And whatever you do, whatever you care about, whatever makes you get up in the morning... technology is a powerful tool to amplify your small voice, and carry it around the world. Tech is power. Use it.