3 Tips to Succeed in STEM

A 2018 Pew Research Center study about minorities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields reported that while Latinos and Blacks compose 27% of the overall U.S. population, they only account for 16% of those employed in STEM occupations. Since many companies want to diversify there are several opportunities for talented LatinX and Black students.

Tip #1: Experiential Learning & Networking

 Learn about science and technology on your own. Attending museums, planetariums, and walking at Facebook observing the campus can heighten technology enthusiasm. Experiential learning can trigger an interest in STEM. Also, learn about the life of STEM professionals by observing them at their job. For example, ask a friend who works in the STEM industry if you could spend a day watching their work.

Networking is critical to first-generation Latinos and Latinas in STEM fields asit is required a strong supportive network of peers, and professionals to succeed.

Tip #2: Take advanced of STEM curriculum courses

The lack of preparation is the greatest barrier to success and promoting critical thinking is key to academic success. XYLO Academy provides students a unique educational curriculum through engaging video modules on disruptive innovations that are key to students’ future careers.

Tip #3: Build your Financial & Career Success

Many Latinos view the high cost of college as a major barrier, but it can be overcome. Spend time researching and applying for scholarships and also take advantage of paid internships in the STEM industry. The opportunities are countless in engineering for talented LatinX students.



Your Diverse Background Might Be Your Ticket to Full Ride Scholarships


The number of STEM students has grown over the last decade but unfortunately some diverse students are underrepresented in the industry. 

Below are some of the biggest STEM scholarships for African American, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American students. Sure, they are quite competitive as the bigger the award, the bigger the competition. But if done right, you can make a very large difference in your long-term financial situation.


Thiel Foundation Fellowship Program: $100,000

The Thiel Fellowship is a two-year program for young people who want to build new things. Individuals under 23 pursuing projects in biotech, career development, economics and finance, education, energy, information technology, mobility, robotics, and space are encouraged to apply.

Hispanic Foundation Silicon Valley: $30,000

The Latinos in Technology Scholarship provides up to 100 Latino students the support they need to graduate from college. Additionally, scholarship recipients will be considered for summer internships with sponsoring corporate investors.


United Negro College Fund Scholarships: $100 MILLION

The largest private scholarship provider for minority students, the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) awards at least $100 million in scholarships to students each year.

The Gates Scholarship: $500,000

Each year, 300 top student leaders are awarded the Gates Scholarship. This is a very competitive scholarship for exceptional, Pell-eligible, minority, high school seniors.

Most scholarship application deadlines occur typically from September through May. While this does give you some time to apply for scholarships, it still is a good idea to start searching for scholarships as early as you can. These four minority scholarships are just a few of many available at www.ioscholarships.com


Grants and scholarships are both types of free money that does not be to be paid back unlike work-study (student employment) and student loans.

Although the words grant and scholarship are often treated as the same, there are important differences. Grants tend to be based on financial need, while scholarships tend to be based on merit such as academic performance, ethnicity and community leadership or based on special interests. For more information read the following article.

What is a grant?

Eligibility for a grant is based on demonstrated financial need, which is the difference between the college’s cost of attendance (COA) and the expected family contribution (EFC). Colleges and universities use the EFC to determine eligibility for institutional need-based aid.

Eligibility for state grants, like the Cal Grants and New York TAP Grants, often involves an income cutoff. Many states also award financial aid to students who are residents of their states and offer programs such as the Tuition Exchange Program that allow residents to attend institutions in another state at the in-state tuition cost or a discounted cost.

To apply for grants, file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.ed.gov as soon as possible on or after October 1.

What is a scholarship?

Eligibility for a scholarship is based on merit. Examples of merit scholarships include those that are awarded based on academic, ethnicity and community leadership, special interests, or special talents. 

At IOScholarships our STEM scholarships which total about $48 million are usually awarded by private and corporate scholarship providers, such as foundations, companies, professional membership organizations and non-profit organizations. However, we have access to best STEM scholarships at prestigious universities such as Stanford.

A few hundred colleges and organizations award full-tuition academic scholarships based on the student’s high school grade point average (GPA), admissions test scores and academic leaderships.

The average IOScholarships is about $5,000 and the maximum is $500,000 for full-ride scholarships.

To apply for scholarships, use IOScholarships free scholarship matching tool. Every dollar you win is about a dollar less you’ll have to borrow. Apply today!

María Fernanda Trochimezuk

Founder and Diversity Equity and Inclusion Officer at IOScholarships

María Fernanda Trochimezuk is passionate about making diversity a norm as she advocates for the empowerment of underrepresented STEM students from racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse backgrounds. As the founder of IOScholarships she is committed to building the diverse and inclusive STEM workforce the world needs by matching undergraduate and graduate students with life-changing scholarships and internship opportunities.

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina she arrived to UCSB and won over $250,000 in scholarships to pursue her education. Since then, she has devoted her energy to helping more underserved students find free money to go to college. She has been featured in just about every major Hispanic media outlet including Univision, Telemundo,  NBC Latino, Mundo Fox, CNN en Español, Diversity in STEAM MagazineHispanic Network MagazineBlack EOE Journal and Professional Woman’s Magazine.

She has extensive experience developing and executing successful diversity campaigns for top-tier leading companies such as Google, Wells Fargo, First 5 California, ConsejoSano, MassMutual and Tuition Funding Sources. Prior to heading her public relations agency at Bravo Story María Fernanda was the Manager of Corporate Relations for Nissan North America where she managed the company’s national gift-matching program and supported organizations that offer educational programs to inform, inspire and celebrate diversity among the various cultural and ethnic groups.

María Fernanda began her career at Hispanic Business Magazine, where her responsibilities included research, event management and strategic marketing for various Hispanic Business divisions.

She graduated from Universidad del Salvador, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in international relations. Additionally, she was selected on a national level to be part of the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Program.

Maria’s advocacy work has been recognized with many awards including the Public Relations Society Association and the Hispanic Public Relations Association. 

An active presenter on diversity case studies and topics, María Fernanda has presented to organizations such as the American Marketing Association, PRSA and Cal State Fullerton University.

Free access to scholarships that are perfect for you!

We offer thousands of scholarships and valuable resources for Hispanic American, African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander and STEM students of diverse backgrounds.

3 Tips to Succeed in Careers in STEM