My name is Adela Yang. I am a first-generation Asian-American undergraduate student pursuing Mathematics and Computer Science. I recently attended the SACNAS conference and it opened so many doors for me that were not available to my parents.
The SACNAS meals, venue, talks, workshops, sessions and events all came together to form a transformative experience. At this conference, I met some people who will be my life-long mentors. The speakers and presenters served as great inspirations for my future and they also serve as resources that I can reach out to. The exhibitors provided me with the knowledge to arm myself with on my quest for graduate school.
After this conference, I noticed a difference within myself; I had become more open. I learned to take the myriad of opportunities presented to me and turn it into something real. Through networking and getting out of my comfort zone to talk to others (I am an introvert, in case you could not tell), I was presented with all these possibilities. I took the risk to poke my head out my protective shell and test the waters. The truth was that the outside world seemed so vast and infinite compared to my humble shell. I am so grateful that this conference was the one of the first things I saw as I emerged from my shell.
At this conference, I presented my summer math research with my partners. My heart was warm and bubbly for the duration of our presentation because other people were interested in what we were doing and it was good to know that the research we did sparked interest in others and that we contributed a little more to the knowledge of world.
The SACNAS conference was one of the life changing events of my academic career. I would advise everyone to attend the conference. While you are there, enjoy, have fun and take a leap of faith and challenge yourself. Try to test the limits of your comfort zone and you will be surprised where that can take you. Take a look at the resources on how to prepare for the conference and remember, you get as much out of it as you put in.
Good luck to whatever path you may be on.