News & Events‎ > ‎News Feed‎ > ‎


posted May 3, 2017, 2:28 PM by Kristin Hernandez   [ updated May 9, 2017, 8:13 AM ]
Sandya Belino portrait
Theresa Diep

Left: Maria Sanya Belino. Right: Theresa Diep.

Maria “Sandya” Belino (Phoenix Academy) and Theresa Diep (Sitting Bull Academy) were recently selected as two of six girls in the High Desert to be sponsored by AAUW Victor Valley to attend the all-girls 2017 Tech Trek STEM Camp at the University of California, Irvine this summer.

“I didn’t know about Tech Trek until my counselor Ms. Navarro told me about it,” Belino said. “It’s really nice that I get to go and I am really excited to hear from all of the guest speakers.”

Both students were nominated to attend the camp by their math and science teachers. All campers attend Tech Trek camps on scholarships provided by AAUW California branch members, who work with middle schools in the area. The Victor Valley chapter worked with seventh grade science and math teachers at local schools to recommend candidates who were then required to pass through an extensive qualification process that included an application, an essay, and a personal interview by a panel of three women with STEM-related experience.

The students were required to write an essay explaining how they would each use science and math to make the world a better place. Inspired by her father, a veteran of the United States Navy, Belino wrote about how she would use math and science to engineer equipment that would benefit disabled veterans. “I’d want to make some sort of thing that would help them to not be disabled any more,” she said. Following graduation, Belino hopes to attend the U.S. Naval Academy.

Tech Trek Camps were created to inspire girls to pursue STEM-related careers. Through hands-on problem solving and encounters with women role models in science, technology, engineering, and math, Tech Trek makes STEM exciting and accessible to girls in middle school—the age when girls’ participating in this field often drops. For more information, contact or visit