Ivan Alcantar is paying it forward in more ways than one. The Chico State University civil engineering student said it's important for him to influence his younger cousins and siblings to follow his footsteps to higher education.
"I've worked with my dad in the fields so I’ve experienced what he’s gone through. I don’t want any of my cousins to go through that."
The second year student focuses his studies on environmental engineering with the career goal of providing clean drinking water for all. He said after experiencing the stark conditions and lack of clean drinking water when visiting his parents village in Mexico, he knew his calling.
As an engineer I want to solve problems that will help people. Water is the basis of life, so this work wouldn't just help my community but people around the world."
Ivan grew up in Oxnard, California and participated in MESA while in middle school and high school. He knew engineering was for him after hearing a civil engineer speak to his class. Ivan continued with the MESA program at Chico.
He attended MESA's Student Leadership Conference last month in Los Angeles where he engaged with industry professionals, gained critical career development skills and networked with other MESA students from around the state. He said MESA is vital to his success so far.
MESA is a family; the directors are like dads to me: they keep me on the line I'm supposed to follow. It’s a big support system and there’s nothing like it.
After graduation, Ivan wants to continuing paying it forward in his personal life as a MESA alum. He plans to collaborate with other alumni to give back at all levels of the program.
On this Giving Tuesday we ask that you take a lead from Ivan. Give back. Make a difference. Get involved.