El Segundo High School senior Dalia Ramirez was recently selected by Boeing as 2021 honoree for STEM Signing Day. Only 65 students were selected for this honor in Los Angeles County.
Boeing’s California STEM Signing Day celebrates students in Los Angeles County as they make their commitment to education programs focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
To qualify, students must demonstrate a specific interest in the STEM fields, with plans to pursue a two or four-year degree in a related field. This year, the student honorees and their families were invited to attend a virtual ceremony and special presentation in April featuring Boeing corporate leaders, community partners, and other esteemed guests. During the virtual event, students signed “letters of intent” to pursue their chosen STEM field.
Student honorees also have the option of participating in a Boeing freshman mentorship program. “I’m excited for the opportunity to participate in the mentorship program offered by Boeing and expand my network for college and career,” said Ramirez. The mentorship program will convene in small groups during virtual sessions to help students discover high-growth career paths in STEM. The students will have an opportunity to choose career paths of interest to them and be matched with mentors in those fields. Boeing mentors will host sessions over the course of the next year, providing valuable educational and career guidance.
Ramirez plans to major in mechanical engineering with a minor in business at Santa Clara University beginning this fall. When asked about her future career plans, she said, “I’d like to work for a big company such as Boeing. I enjoy collaborative work in a team setting.”
A first-generation college student, Ramirez is grateful for the influence of her father, who worked multiple jobs while in high school to help out his family, “My father has a strong work ethic and his dedication to his family has been an inspiration to me.”
Ramirez said that the classes and opportunities provided by ESHS prepared her for higher education. Specifically, she was in the first group of students to take the new AP Seminar and Research class, a two-year AP Capstone program that gave her confidence in her leadership skills. As part of the class, she was required to write a thesis and conduct her own research and then present her thesis. The topic she chose is “The Inequity of SAT Exams and Scoring,” an idea conceived through her own experiences based on her inability to take the SAT and submit scores for college applications due to the COVID-19 pandemic causing limited SAT testing dates.
Her participation in the Engineering Pathway at ESHS also helped set her on her college and career path. “I like how the Engineering Pathway class each year introduced us to different topics and built upon what we had previously learned,” said Ramirez. The classes also gave her access to different types of programs/technology, allowing her to learn new skills. Her senior capstone project for the pathway involved her team creating a device that would help package items from a shipping perspective, which included a pressure mat that is sensitive to the weight of the package. During the period of online-only instruction, she learned valuable skills for doing collaborative work in a distance learning format.
In addition to her academic achievements, Ramirez is also a member of the girls varsity soccer team. Being a member of the team taught her to persevere through setbacks. As a junior, she suffered a concussion during a soccer match that had a severe negative impact on her grades. “The symptoms lingered longer than expected and I couldn’t concentrate,” said Ramirez. “I ultimately learned that it is important to ask for help when you really need it. I learned that asking for help is not of sign of weakness, rather it will actually make you much stronger. I’m grateful for that situation as a learning moment that will serve me well as I prepare to attend college."
She also continued her music education at ESHS, having begun playing violin in third grade. She played violin as a member of the ESHS Orchestra for four years.
Outside of school, Ramirez volunteers with the National Charity League Beachside Chapter, a philanthropic activity she began in middle school. The organization’s mission is to foster mother-daughter relationships through an ongoing commitment to philanthropy, culture and leadership. The National Charity League works with different organizations such as food pantries, agencies that support disadvantaged children, performing arts programs, senior citizen centers, children’s hospitals, women’s health initiatives, and military/veterans’ organizations. Volunteers like Ramirez are required to fulfill a certain number of philanthropic hours each month. This year, due to COVID-19, they mostly organized much-needed donation drives.
“Dalia is a remarkable young woman who has worked diligently all through high school,” said ESHS Assistant Principal Sarah Davlantis.