by JENNIFER FRAKES | photos by Alicia Jeanne Photography

Standout Leader

student_moreno1Mary Moreno-Christian is no stranger to the importance of strong and inspirational leadership. Her experience working at Camp Del Mar as a camp counselor helped her become a more confident leader and solidified her desire to increase the number of women and Latinas in the STEM field. “I supervised a group of kids ranging from 5 to 12 years old at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. The kids participated in arts and crafts, outdoor games, and field trips to play miniature golf,” stated Mary, who was awarded a $5,000 Don Diego Scholarship for her work at Camp Del Mar and her academic and extracurricular achievements at Carlsbad High School.

Encouraging young women to pursue careers in the STEM field is close to Mary’s heart. Mary began her freshman year on one of the three co-ed robotics teams at Carlsbad High School (CHS). The next year, however, Mary and the two girls on the other robotics teams became a part of an all-girls robotics team. “We recruited six other girls to be a part of our team. I enjoyed the collaborative atmosphere, how everyone was given the opportunity to work on all aspects of the team and robot, including hardware, software, and outreach,” revealed Mary. The robotics team is part of the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Tech Challenge, a program where each year teams are given a specific task to complete. “One of the most important parts of the program and of FIRST overall is the professionalism, fierce competition, and mutual respect and graciousness,” stated Mary.

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Name: Mary Moreno-Christian
School: Recent graduate of Carlsbad High headed to UC Davis
Hobbies: Playing music
Favorite Places in Carlsbad: The Village, Agua Hedionda Lagoon, the beach


In addition to her interest in robotics, Mary is also musically inclined, having played the viola for seven years and the bass for five years. She was a member of the orchestra and jazz band at CHS and feels that she has grown immeasurably as a musician. “I loved playing in the orchestra, especially performing Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s requiem. Jazz band was also enjoyable, as I was able to express myself through various types of music,” said Mary.

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As Mary embarks on her latest adventure as a freshman majoring in engineering at UC Davis, she is looking forward to living away from home and broadening her academic horizons. “I am inspired by my mother to pursue my educational goals. She was the only college graduate of her nine siblings, and I want to continue her legacy,” related Mary proudly.