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Erenis always had a knack for math, but lacked the support and motivation to put a priority on her education. In high school, she Erenis was a habitual truant, and enrolled at College of the Sequoias after graduating with a 2.0 GPA.

She didn’t have a clear path in mind and figured she’d earn a technical degree and get a job.

One day she walked past a door with the MESA logo on it and decided to walk in.

“That started everything.”

Erenis, who is the first in her family to go to college and the daughter of immigrant field workers, said the support system and sense of community she got with MESA helped her get through challenging math courses.

She completed an associate’s degree in mathematics in 2011 and transferred to UC Santa Barbara. She’d visited UCSB and other university campuses during MESA-led campus tours.

While at UCSB she was involved with MESA activities through the campus MESA center, including a series of company tours. One tour was Materia, Inc.

“I really liked it there, so I applied for a job and got it. I had it lined up before graduation.”

Now Erenis is an engineer at Materia working on project development.

“As long as you have a good support system you can achieve anything,” she said. “MESA gave me that.”