Navigate Your Way to a Successful Career in STEM

People » Chelsea Garces


My name is Chelsea Garces and I am a Mechanical Engineering major. I will be beginning my third year at UCF since graduating from J.P. Taravella High School in Coral Springs which is in South Florida where I grew up. Out of all the classes I have taken here at UCF my favorite would have to be the first one I ever took which surprisingly was a math course. I didn’t particularly like the class itself or the way it was taught but the study group I established was the best thing I took from that class. Together we pushed one another to pass the class with an A or a B and I would not have been able to do it without them. This also connects to why I believe being a part of EXCEL was instrumental to my college career which is the community you get to be surrounded by. That first study group included people from EXCEL and I am in a research lab with one of them. Through the EXCEL program you get a support system and if I had any problems there were people I could talk to that were able to help which comes in handy when all the math courses are closed except the EXCEL classes which is how I came across my favorite professor, Arielle, who teaches Calculus for EXCEL. She gets to know each of her students and she truly helps you through her classes. As a mentor in this program I hope to show incoming mentees everything that COMPASS/EXCEL can do for them with their STEM majors. Outside of school I like a well-rounded amount of things from watching movies and playing video games to playing any sport; I even play with my team in RecFest every year which is unique themed games designed by UCF IM staff, for example human hungry hungry hippos was probably my favorite game they made up so far.