We had our first live interview on Roadtrip Nation Live with Milena Acosta, the education outreach supervisor for the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif. She had an amazing story that really touched us!
While we were able to have some of our online community’s questions on Twitter answered by her, we weren’t able to get to all of them. So, we took your questions and sent them to her to answer! Thanks to everyone who tuned in to watch live with us and ask questions!
Did you ever encounter the ‘nerd who likes science’ stigma in grade school? If so, how did you overcome it? - @alexgomez_
In grade school I was an average-performing kid and not as ambitious as I was in high school, where (in my experience) being a nerd was a bit more stigmatized. In high school I was an odd-ball-nerd. I studied hard and did well, but I also had a decent social life. I also attended a college prep middle and high school, so most kids (not all) were on the path to higher learning…So, maybe they were slightly less inclined to judge you based on your success at school. All that being said, I was called a nerd various times, and I embraced the title whole-heartedly, because I tried really hard at school and was grateful that someone thought I was smart.
In such a competitive field, was it hard to get your foot in door? If so how did you persevere? - @Geck_57
I started out part-time and got my foot in the door by having some volunteer experience working with kids when I was in college. Once I was “in,” I worked hard. My work ethic was instilled in me from my parents at a young age. Not necessarily from words of advice but from watching them and their work ethic. My mom worked VERY hard so that my sister and I could have everything we needed and wanted. I think that got passed onto me at a young age. And from her, I learned that it’s not only about working hard to get what you want; it’s important to work hard at your job because you should―and because you need to be grateful that you have a job.
Do you have any regrets? - @ChippySxDance
I’d be lying if I said no. But they are small regrets. Like, I should have studied harder at some classes, should have traveled even more in college. So, more like tiny, little baby regrets that didn’t really define or hinder my path.
Did you ever struggle during your college years? - @ishootdownstars
Absolutely! I struggled with money; deciding what this major was going to give me; finding a balance between my love life, social life, and schoolwork; my parents; and figuring out who I was.
What is your favorite thing about your job? -@ChippySxDance
The people. I work with brilliant, creative, and highly motivated educators. We work in an environment that nurtures those attributes, and it makes for a wonderful place to work.
What is your favorite subject in marine biology? - @ishootdownstars
That’s tough. I really enjoy fish. The ocean houses some of the most bizarre fish with amazing adaptations.