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Rafael Mota

Region: NYC: Bronx/Manhattan
Program Institution:
Barnard College


High School: Xavier High School

College/University: New York University
Major/Minor: B.A. Computer Science/ Game Design

Significant Professional or Academic Accomplishments:

  • STEP Graduate
  • STEP Tutor
  • STEP Teacher
  • C-STEP Mentor/Tutor
  • Commuter Assistant for 3 Years at NYU
  • Executive Board Member of Bella Quisqueya, Club Anime, and Play at NYU
  • American Museum of Natural History: Hayden Astrophysics program Graduate
  • Astrophysics Internship at Columbia
  • First Honors with J.R.O.T.C. position "Major"

I am where I am right know because of the STEP program. I know that many of us who decide to participate are already very smart and could make great achievements; however, without the resources made available to me through the program, I might not have made it as far. One of my greatest achievements was getting to work with a STEP Fellow, Marcel Agueros, to make a great contribution in Re-Categorizing the Huensch Cataloge of Stars. This was an internship that STEP graciously provided for me and I will forever thank them for it because it has led to many opportunities and connections ever since.

My gratitude for STEP could not merely be expressed with a simple thank you every year or two to the teachers and mentors that taught me. I made it a point I would give back somehow and came back as a tutor. The experience was amazing and it made me realize that one of m passions was for teaching. As a result, I came back a few years later to help as full blown teacher and hope that I could give back even a fraction of what STEP had imparted to me. As of this writing I have finished teaching my first solo class, Technology Seminar. It was a unique experience. I enjoyed it very much but it's still surreal to be on the other side. I aim learn from each class and make my teaching style and curriculum better every time. It's easy though because the students are interested and knowledgeable in the areas I'm covering, which makes it that much more rewarding in giving them perspectives or insight into to a subject they might never have thought of before.



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