Incoming engineering freshman Anaya Blade is no stranger to California State University Long Beach. She attended high school at the nearby SATO Academy of Mathematics and Science, and has been participating in Future Girls at the Beach since her freshman year of high school and in the National Society of Black Engineers since she was a junior.
Mario Cordero remembers what it was like to graduate high school and walk onto a large and unfamiliar campus preparing to study engineering. His father had immigrated from Mexico and worked at a manufacturing plant in Compton. His mother spoke little English.
“Neither one of my parents had gone to college,” said Cordero, now executive director of the Port of Long Beach. “The only professionals we came into contact with were engineers.”