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Hopes to become a lead researcher in the Human-Computer Interaction field to help those in need

I am currently planning to pursue a Master’s in Human-Computer Interaction this upcoming fall. I chose my major because of pure interest and financial security. I wanted a career that would satisfy my love for design and still offer a great salary. Initially, I began with web programming and design. Although I enjoyed working in web design, I knew that I wanted to involve psychology concepts in my work without having to give up being a designer. I found the growing field of Human-Computer Interaction one day and knew this was what I wanted to do. The process of doing research and finding surprising things about users always excites me and makes me want to learn more. This is definitely the career path for me and I am stoked about beginning my Master’s program!

But I didn’t get to this point in my life that easily. I started my Bachelor’s degree with very little money, resources, knowledge, and consequently, very few options. There has never been a time that I have not worked while attending college, and most of the time I have worked in at least two jobs. It was difficult trying to stay involved on campus, keeping my grades up and taking on as little debt as possible. I was successful during the first two years of my undergraduate career, but shortly after my parents found out that I was a lesbian, all the support I had received from them was gone.

It had always been difficult having opposing views on religion with my parents, but constantly arguing with them about my sexuality drained me emotionally. Because I was eventually kicked out by my parents, I transferred to a school an hour away. Fortunately, this worked out for the best as I was able to become more independent and grow as a person. I am currently continuing my career without any financial or emotional support from my parents, and having to figure things on my own has only made me a better person. Moreover, the bond between my partner and I has strengthened.

After having immigrated here from a small town in Peru, graduating with a Master’s degree will mean the world to me. I am ready to put in the work and make those closest to me proud of my achievements. Any support I can get towards accomplishing this goal will allow me to focus more on my academics. I also hope to accomplish my goal of becoming a lead researcher in the Human-Computer Interaction field. In the future, I would love to be able to use all of the knowledge I will have acquired and help non-profits use advanced technology to help those in need.

We are proud to announce Jacqueline Luna Gaytan is one of the current LatPro Scholarship finalists. Vote for her essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column) and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.

LatPro Admin

48 comments

  • I couldn’t be more proud of this wonderful woman! I’m so lucky to call her my girlfriend and I can’t wait to see where the future takes us. We’re both attending NYU for our masters this coming fall and I know first hand how hard it’s been to make our dreams a reality. Jacqueline has faced so much adversity in her life but being a finalist for this scholarship proves that the hard work pays off.

  • I worked with Jacqueline and I can say she is one of the most hardworking people I know. She is constantly moving and working, rarely taking a break. She has such a passion for her field, it’s very inspiring to listen to her talk about it. I know this scholarship would be instrumental in finishing her education. Many people need a scholarship but Jacqueline has put in the hard work and dedication to deserve it.

  • I’m incredibly proud of Jacqueline! She has shown great courage and perseverance throughout all the adversity she has endured. I’m happy to know she’s pursuing her Masters degree. I cannot wait to see what the future holds as she embarks on an exciting and challenging part of her life.

  • I think it’s very brave of you to be able to forge your own path, especially with little parental support. It must be tough, but if you got through Undergrad, I’m sure you can make it in your Master’s program!

  • I have known Jacqueline for a few years now, and I know how much dedication she puts in her education, to great results. A masters in human-computer interaction would be very beneficial for Jacqueline for her long-term goals to make a positive difference.

    • I’m both proud and thrilled for you to continue your education in your field. I believe your passion, intelligence and hard work make you an outstanding candidate for your program! I can’t wait to see for what’s in store for you and wish you nothing but the best!

  • I have only known Jacqueline for a few years now but I truly know as a friend that she is an extremely devoted and charismatic individual who deserves everything that she sets her mind to!

  • I met Jacqueline two years ago when I first came from China; I’ve known lots of hard-working people, but I’ve never met someone has this great work ethic like Jacqueline does.
    She has showed me another perspective of life: no matter how difficult life is for her, she never gives up or gives in; she always has this optimistic attitude and accepting heart to everyone, big smile never leaves her face;all her friends, colleagues, and classmates/schoolmates love her.
    Jacqueline has been working very hard to achieve what she has today and I can’t be more proud of her.
    She deserves every possible help to get her onto the next level and I’m excited to see what’s going to turn out for her.

  • Best of luck and success in graduate school! This academic degree will only benefit you in achieving your career goals!!!

  • Adversity met with kindness and friendship is strength, strength of the highest quality, and she has that. She has shown it in her work as an undergrad, and she will demonstrate that as a graduate student for NYU. Show them what you got miss!

  • You’re an inspiration, Luna. This sounds like a very cool field to be in and you seem like a great fit for it. Best of luck, it’s been a pleasure working with you!

  • Jacqueline has always been persistent in working towards her goals and would never disappoint as a student or an employee. I believe she would do great and would make a difference somehow. She deserves all the help and support to achieve her goals and dreams.

    Good luck Jacqueline!

  • Luna and I met in a public speaking class. Her drive and passion were always apparent and pushed her to go above and beyond in anything she set herself to do. Few people are able to take their resources and turn them into results like she is.

  • Good luck! It’s obvious that you have a lot of drive and passion for your work and I hope for the best!

  • Jacqueline is one of the most beautiful souls I have ever been privileged enough to encountered. I met her working at Bob Evans and she was so brilliantly out of place. But she was just in highschool, working towards being independent.

    I was there with her as she chose her college career path right out of High school. She was dedicated and focused to figuring out what career path she wanted in life. It’s amazing that she has found her true passion and career goal. A career in human computer interaction would be amazing for her. It would show her dedication and independence to follow through with what she loves, just as she’s done time and time again. She is a rock and an asset to anyone in her life. One of the most beautiful minds I have ever encountered. She deserves all of her dreams to come true. No one will try harder and dedicate more time than she will. I will always be in her corner rooting for her success in whatever path she chooses.

  • Jacqueline Luna is one of the best human being I’ve ever met in my entire life, I’ve known her since I was in 5th grade and I knew my entire life that she was going somewhere in life and this is it! She’s a hard working independent woman. And I couldn’t be more proud, what a happy goal to have and very inspiring!!

  • Jacqueline is a hard-working, amazing young woman. Her skills, determination and drive will help countless people. It is such an honor to know her.

  • I have never met anyone as hardworking and dedicated as Jacqueline. Having read her eassy, she obviously went through such hardship, but in the years that I’ve known her, she’s not once let her happiness falter. I wish you the best of luck gal pal, you are so deserving of everything!

  • Luna,

    Super great essay and also it is inspiring especially to those people like you that dealing with gender issue. Keep strong and hopefully you win a scholarship, I know it will be a good help for you. I’ve been in your situation, I know that feeling. Goodluck girl.

  • If my cousin says that Luna is outstanding and deserving of this award then that’s good enough for me! Congratulations on coming this far Luna and the best of luck in the future. Peace

  • So proud of you Luna! You are very well deserving of this award. Working with you has made me realize just how passionate and driven you can be. Good luck!