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.