As Silvia Torrico explains it, she and her sister Evelyn were always strong math students so they enrolled at Mount San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) intending to become engineers. However, “there was just something about it that wasn’t working for us,” she said.
They read a flyer about the college's teacher preparation program and then went to an information session where they heard about the Mt. SAC STEM Teacher Preparation Program (STEM TP2). This Advanced Technological Education (ATE) project’s strategies for helping community college students become STEM teachers include hands-on teaching opportunities, two University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine) courses, and authentic STEM research projects.
At a subsequent meeting where they learned more about STEM TP2 from Iraj B. Nejad and Charles G. Newman, principal investigator and co-principal investigator respectively, Silvia Torrico said there was a pivotal moment when the professors talked about teaching as a way to change the future.