November 11, 2022
CoCo is an initiative that invited me to teach, but it took me to learn
My experience as a CoCo Coding Coach has taught me a lot. As a Spanish-native speaker, being part of this bilingual project has strengthened my knowledge of Python, and it has enormously increased my confidence in teaching in English. But CoCo is more than a learning experience, and of course, it goes further than an NSF-sponsored initiative. CoCo is a welcoming space, it is connection, and it feels like a piece of home. These feelings were just revalidated during my attendance at the National Diversity in STEM Conference SACNAS 2022 in the beautiful country of Puerto Rico.
Tamara Aranguiz, CoCo Coding Coach.
During the conference, I had the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with people across the United States and beyond and promote CoCo and our mission. We engaged with students, educators, and institutions. We spread the word about our methods and goals, where our main objective is to lower the language barriers that a vast majority of Latinamerican students face in Academia. We felt inspired by other’s people work, and we took new ideas to improve our strategies. But most importantly, we got recharged with a commitment to CoCo and to our Latinamerican community because we have to be our own best advocates. I am hopeful that the connections that we made during the conference will reach the right people and will open them to the opportunity to meet the supportive community of CoCo conformed by the PIs, directors, and coaches. Honestly, I cannot wait to meet our new cohort and learn from the cool science many graduate Latinxs students are doing!
Angelique and Tamara eating mofongo with seafood!
Tamara exploring Piñones Beach, Loiza, Puerto Rico.