¡Valle! connects Central Valley students to STEM careers

Collage of three photos: Two students kneeling to construct a drone; a group of four students smiling around a table; and students watching facilitators write on wall-mounted note paper.

In January, CITRIS at UC Merced hosted its seventh annual session of ¡Valle! Get Your Start in Tech!, a workforce development program that introduces undergraduate students from community colleges and universities in California’s Central Valley to skills and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

The weekend’s events were designed to foster a sense of belonging in the STEM community, especially for students from historically underrepresented populations. Participants developed their communication and networking skills, learned new coding techniques, and gained valuable insights into new career pathways.

“California and our planet are facing some of the greatest challenges we have ever faced as a society, and technology is going to be one of the keys to unlocking solutions,” said Erin Hestir, director of CITRIS at UC Merced. “We need a diversity of voices and perspectives advancing those technologies to benefit society. ¡Valle! has helped over 150 Central Valley students gain confidence and find their path to careers in tech. I am looking forward to seeing even more students from the Valley become the face of our future tech workforce.”

Read more from UC Merced.