Maria Reaches for the Stars

"EXP gave me the opportunity to see the world differently and to believe in myself. We are all capable.

We just need the right resources."


Maria didn’t set out to be an engineer. Before she joined EXP at Phineas Banning High School, she didn't even know what engineering was. Maria knew she wanted to go to college and she had the grades to get there, but she didn’t know what to do afterwards and she didn't feel confident in blazing her own path.

“EXP showed me job options and opportunities I didn’t know existed, like careers in STEM,” said Maria. “More than that, my EXP mentors saw in me what I failed to see in myself and helped me realize my potential.”

Maria's first job was as an EXP summer intern at Tesoro [now Marathon] Los Angeles Refinery, an experience which “put all of my skills to the test and showed me my best self.”

Upon graduation from UC Santa Barbara, Maria's internship and the connections she made through EXP helped her land a job as an Environmental Health and Safety Manager at an aerospace manufacturing company.

Maria and thousands more EXP alumni are continuing to unlock doors within themselves and to expanded opportunities. Your support makes this possible.

Your gift does not stop at high school--it sets young people up for success in college, career and life through internships, scholarships and career connections.

Oakley Boren