Mark Rodriguez was born in the small farming town of Watsonville, California to two migrant parents originally from Mexico. Growing up, my parents worked in labor intensive jobs and had very little schooling. With that said, it was difficult to get through grade school as my parents were unable to help me complete my homework. However, this did not stop me from pursuing a degree after finishing grade school. Seeing my grandparents and parents sacrifice everything for a chance to live a better life was more than enough to motivate me to want to seek a better lifestyle for my family and me.
Today, I am a senior at the University of California, Santa Cruz studying Electrical Engineering and I am also working as a Computer Engineer Intern for the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. My goal is to one day obtain a permanent position with the agency so that I can apply the knowledge and experiences I have gained through my educational career and work experience. It has been a dream come true to have the opportunity to work alongside some of the best engineers in the industry. While I look back and assess the financial battles my forefathers have faced, I am greatly humbled to be working where I am; knowing my family is as proud of me as I am of myself for the accomplishments I have attained as a first generation Mexican-American.