Fellows Experience: Einana

The San Diego Squared Fellows program is a yearlong mentorship for underrepresented 10th-12th grade students in San Diego County with an interest in STEM. Our students get to participate in site visits with local, innovative STEM companies, receive yearlong mentorship from a STEM professional to help guide them in their journey, build up their personal network, and create a path to success for themselves.


Meet Einana, a high school senior passionate about helping others.

Before Einana joined SD2, she felt lost. Thoughts of graduation, college, and choosing a lifelong career loomed over her, and she hoped that applying for the Fellows program could provide clarity. She would go on to receive even more: guidance, confidence, and lifelong friendships.


Soon after joining the Fellows program, Einana met her mentor, Dr. Róisín Puentes, a medical science liaison at Neo Genomics. At their first meeting, Einana immediately felt comfortable with Róisín. They bonded over common interests, goals, and backgrounds, and Einana quickly felt supported and inspired.


Throughout their formal mentorship, Einana and Róisín became close friends. Róisín helped Einana with her college application, brought her to industry conferences, and helped her gain confidence in pursuing a career in STEM. She also introduced her to yoga and showed her the importance of prioritizing her mental health- she even purchased her a yoga mat to encourage her to learn.


One of her favorite memories with Róisín was attending the ASH Hematology Conference with her.


“It was a great eye-opening experience where I got a preview of the professional lifestyle for those who are in STEM,” Einana said, “in a way, I got a glimpse of my future.”


Róisín also encouraged Einana to explore all of the different areas of STEM. She helped introduce her to all of the opportunities available to her- this way, Einana can be as confident as possible that she’s making the right career choice for her.


During her time as an SD2 Fellow, Einana gained valuable connections and felt more confident about tackling her future.


“Thanks to SD2 I am able to meet new people who are as passionate about changing the world just as much as I am,” Einana said, “I have meaningful conversations and take part in meaningful activities with them, allowing me to feel a sense of security regarding the path I wish to pursue. Knowing that we are all in this together allows me to realize I am not the only one who is feeling afraid of what’s to come next.”


Over the past year, Einana has visited many different STEM companies around San Diego, from pharmaceuticals to technology. She completed an internship at Illumina, where she learned to network and strengthen her personal brand while learning about working as a STEM professional, and gained a lifelong friend and mentor in Róisín who pushes her to achieve her dreams.


Einana now wants to become a physician, inspired by her grandfather’s cardiologist who saved his life when he battled heart failure, and propelled by the experiences she’s had with SD2. After graduating from high school, she plans to attend either UCSD or SDSU where she’ll study biology.


Einana still speaks with Róisín frequently and is an active member of the SD2 family.


Interested in learning more about SD2 to further your potential in STEM? Check out the Squared Fellows program here.

Want to become a mentor like Róisín? Learn more here.