Hi Knights, my name is Mariana Sorroza and I am majoring in Mechanical Engineering and minoring in Leadership Studies and Global and International Studies. This is my third year at the University of Central Florida (UCF) and my second year as a GEMS Mentor. My family is from Mexico and I grew up in South Florida and graduated from Atlantic Technical College and Technical High School. My journey brought me to UCF which like many say, is indeed, engineering the future. Some of my favorite classes include Ethical Issues in the 21st Century, Intercultural Communication, Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and Nonprofit Organizations because they have increased my awareness on the importance of being transparent, emotional intelligence, understanding and using various communication styles, and on serving others. They have made me a better person. I have also enjoyed Statics because it was the first engineering class that made me realize the importance of a lot of the concepts we learned, since we began to apply them to real-life scenarios. It made me confident that engineering is right for me. All of the classes I have taken have made me realize I want to combine my knowledge and experiences to have a career where I can directly see the impact it has on others, through working for the protection of the people in the United States and additional countries. One of my favorite professors was my Pre-Calculus and Calculus 2 professor, Ms. Lori Dunlop-Pyle, because she was excellent at breaking down complicated concepts into a way that was easier for us to understand them. Some of my hobbies include running, playing soccer, learning to play golf, fishing, crocheting, knitting, spending time in prayer with God, and of course, spending time with my loved ones. I decided to get involved with the GEMS Program because I believe we should use what we know to help others and GEMS mentees, mentors, and directors do exactly that. My expectations for myself and for my mentees are to serve as a reminder for one another that we can and WILL excel as females in STEM! Some words of wisdom for incoming EXCEL freshmen are to remember you can accomplish anything you put your mind to, to hang out with friends that want the best for you and help you improve, and that all things work together for good, always! You got this! May God keep blessing and guiding you.