EDINBURG, Texas (NNS) -- “Changing the world through STEM” was the theme of the 2018 Hispanic Engineering, Science, and Technology (HESTEC) Week held on the campus of the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), Oct. 1 - 6.
Sailors and support personnel of Navy Recruiting District (NRD) San Antonio participated in daily events with the purpose of encouraging students to pursue a STEM education and possibly a STEM career in America’s Navy.
During the STEM + ME Expo held Oct. 1 - 4, Sailors had the opportunity to engage with more than 4,500 middle and high school students.
According to Navy Counselor 1st Class Ivan Aguilar of Pharr, Texas, the leading petty officer assigned to Navy Recruiting Station McAllen, the Navy benefits from having a presence at HESTEC.
“HESTEC supports Navy recruiting in many aspects,” said Aguilar, whose attending his fifth HESTEC. “We benefit especially in the areas of officer and reserve recruiting; approximately 6 to 10 officer contracts annually can be attributed to our participation at HESTEC.”
Chief Navy Counsel Isabel Guerrero of San Antonio, a division leading chief petty officer assigned to NRD San Antonio, had the opportunity to address more than 500 female students during Latina Day, Oct. 3.
“I have been to five HESTEC’s and witnessed high ranking Latinas in the Navy speak with these young girls,” said Guerrero. “This is so humbling for me, and my mother, to be selected to represent the Latino community at HESTEC.
Prior to Guerrero remarks, the Latinas watched a Navy video of Guerrero and her mother talk about their Naval family experience.
Throughout the week, Sailors conducted presentations to physics and engineering students regarding STEM careers in the Navy.
On Oct. 4, NRD Commanding Officer Cmdr. Jeffrey Reynolds of Raleigh, N.C., spoke to hundreds of students during Student Leadership Day.
“This is my third HESTEC and it amazing on how much the community invests in the students to make sure they are successful,” said Reynolds. “I wish I could have had that growing up as a kid.”
Reynolds encouraged the students to thank their parents, teachers, and mentors for the care they provide to ensure they have access to a better and higher education.
HESTEC Week is an educational conference that features events geared toward promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education to people of all ages and backgrounds.
Through the support of sponsors and partners, to include the Navy, HESTEC strives to empower teachers and administrators with the resources to inspire their students to pursue STEM careers through Educators Day, Student Leadership Day, Latina Day, Robotics Day, STEM + ME Expo, Fall Career Expo, and the Navy’s SeaPerch Challenge Competition.
Now in its 17th year, the program has been recognized as a “Bright Spot in Hispanic Education” by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.
The Navy’s recruiting force totals over 6,100 personnel in more than 1,000 recruiting stations around the globe. Their combined goal is to attract the highest quality candidates to assure the ongoing success of America’s Navy.
For more news from Commander, Navy Recruiting Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnrc/.