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For Etzy, attending GSA Connects with an OTF scholarship was a defining moment in her professional and academic development.

What was the most impactful aspect of your OTF experience?

The most impressive thing was being part of a community in which I learned that we are all connected by our stories and that each of our experiences and differences builds our identity, which allows us to offer different societal perspectives and, thus, to be involved in the construction of a better society. In addition, I understood that science is a common language that leaves aside our origins, skin color, gender, or preference. As a community, we all share the same passion, the study of the Earth and its phenomena.

What do you remember most from GSA 2022?

What I will remember most is, first, all the people who crossed my path day by day and enriched my experience in many ways; secondly, having been able to present my research project with a community of geoscientists and receive constructive feedback that undoubtedly enhanced my vision and my approach; and finally, the personal growth I had during these days that allowed me to overcome fears and taught me that dreams are closer to you when you work for them.

What was your mentorship experience like? 

It was an excellent experience since my mentor supported me in many aspects, from advice on moving around the city to introducing me to incredible people and, above all, the openness to give me advice and support for my academic and professional development.

Would you consider returning to serve as a mentor?

I would love to come back as a mentor.

After your OTF experience, how do you see OTF influencing or impacting your future?

This experience was a defining moment in my professional and academic development; it gave me ideas, energy, and a clear vision of my plans. This program is an excellent way to remind us to be proud of our identity and to understand that our actions represent many others out there whose voices are not heard. And we can achieve all our dreams with the power of our differences.

Why should donors support programs like OTF?

Because there are communities that have a limited representation and few resources to participate in academic or professional activities of this type, however, these types of programs allow us to have access to experiences that enrich us and allow us to feel part of an inclusive community, and therefore, contribute our knowledge, ideas, and actions to have a positive impact on society.


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