Florida Polytechnic University senior Andres Regalado is following in his father’s footsteps, though he’s doing it in his own determined way. “Dad did a little bit of everything,” Regalado said of his retired father, who moved the family from Guanajuato, Mexico, to Lehigh Acres, Florida when Regalado was 8.
When Karla Martinez was only 7, her parents decided to leave their home in Hidalgo, Mexico, and settle in Lake Wales, Florida, to open their world to new opportunities. Martinez excelled in school and grew passionate about science and technology, but when it was time to start applying to universities, she was at a loss for where to begin.
Elise Araiza traces her family’s roots to Mexico, Brazil, and Spain, and she’s mindful of the opportunities she has that her parents and grandparents did not. “That’s why I wanted to challenge myself here at Florida Poly with a mechanical engineering major,” said Araiza, a sophomore at Florida Polytechnic University.
As a new state university focused exclusively on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Florida Poly seemed like the perfect fit for senior Kevin Ordoñez’s high-tech ambitions. Ordoñez became a part of the inaugural group of students who came to the university in 2014. Suddenly, he found plenty of motivation around him.