California State University, Long BeachCSU Foundation Board of Governors' Scholar sponsored by Ronald R. and Mitzi Barhorst
Lita Melissa Cahuana and her family migrated from Peru to the United States in the pursuit of the American Dream. The struggles her family experienced due to their low socio-economic status instilled a passion in her to pursue higher education to provide a better future.
Lita is a first-generation California State University, Long Beach senior majoring in chemical engineering with minors in environmental engineering and chemistry. Serving as vice president for the Society of Women Engineers, Lita has conducted the annual outreach program, Women Engineers at the Beach, which encourages young girls from various backgrounds to strive for careers in the STEM fields. As a President's Scholar and Hispanic Serving Institution STEM Peer Mentor, she has led campus tours, volunteered for the Long Beach Homeless Drop-In Center and tutored students in subjects ranging from calculus to organic chemistry.
Having worked as a process engineering intern for Tesoro Corporation, Lita plans to pursue a career in the same field with a focus in energy research and obtain a master’s degree in business administration.