Five Minutes with Luz Moreno

College: Texas A&M University
Year: Sophomore
Major: Mechanical Engineering

Dell Scholars: What was your journey to Texas A&M like growing up in San Antonio?
Luz Moreno: College was always seen as an afterthought in my family, mostly because college was seen as a waste of time and money. When I announced I was leaving home for college, my aunts, uncles, and cousins weren’t very supportive of my decision to leave and pursue engineering. My parents, on the other hand, were my biggest supporters when I decided to go to Texas A&M. They started wearing A&M gear religiously after I graduated from high school. They (my parents) became my reason to keep working towards my college degree.

What drew you to Texas A&M and what has the experience been like for you thus far?
Texas A&M has one of the best engineering programs in the state of Texas as well as the country. I had only gone to the university once for a school field trip before applying and getting accepted, but I remember instantly feeling a sense of belonging. So far, even though it has had its up and downs, I have found my Aggie familia and lifelong friends that have made my college experience one of the best.

Creating a support system can make all the difference. How did you go about finding your college familia?
I found my familia by meeting people that share the same things as me. Whether it be a class, a club or a hobby, you can find friendships anywhere. As I spent more time with some people, I realized I enjoyed their company and they enjoyed mine. After having lunch, going to events, and many HEB runs, I found my friends to be more than just friends, they became my familia.

We know you have overcome a lot as an engineering major at A&M. Could you talk about what that has been like?
Engineering is a very difficult major in general, but no one can prepare you for the workload, dedication, and hardships you will face. As a Hispanic woman in engineering people have discredited my work for the way I look. I feel I have to work twice as hard as my peers to prove myself as an engineer. The best way I could describe the feeling is to imagine pouring your heart and soul into something and being so excited to show it off, only to be told that it isn’t good enough.

Your perseverance is empowering! Where have you found the strength to continue to excel?
When I started college, I desperately wanted to find people that looked like me and were going through the same culture shock as me. This search led me to the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers at Texas A&M. Through this organization I found my home away from home and a sisterhood through their SHPEtinas program. Through SHPEtinas I found other female engineers that shared my passions and goals for college and also other women who helped me find the confidence I lacked as a female engineer.

And what about Dell Scholars? How has the program helped you along the way?
Dell Scholars is always there to support and encourage me to keep moving forward, especially during times where I wanted to give up. I’ve been fortunate to share my experiences about school and the struggles I faced as a first generation college student with a member of the Dell Scholars team who is also a first generation student. Knowing that she has gone through the same struggles as I have made my worst days better just by talking with her on the phone.

Thank you Luz for sharing your story. Keep proving the doubters wrong! And with that said, what is one piece of advice you have for your fellow Scholars?
You are your own worst enemy in college. Whether it be studying and procrastinating or choosing not to ask for help because you are shy, no one else makes those decisions, but you.  Always remember what you’re working toward in college and in the end those bad days will be nothing compared to the degree you worked so hard to get.