Mariana is a Mechanical Engineering major who came to UCF because it is a leading university in engineering and engineering had always been a huge interest of hers. As a member of the EXCEL program, she has received a lot of guidance as a female entering a STEM field and has been very fortunate to be able to pay that back by providing guidance to others through participating in the GEMS Mentoring program as a mentor. As a GEMS mentor, Mariana strives to remind her mentees that STEM is rough and that they are capable! She encourages them to push through the difficulties and to remember that even though being a student (especially a female) in STEM can be rough, they are tough! Through EXCEL she was led to participate in Fairways to Leadership, which helped her earn an internship for the upcoming Summer, and her gain a seat on the President’s Leadership Council.