I believe that the intelligence and enthusiasm of our young people is the most significant resource the United States has. I will teach biology in order to prepare our young people to be leaders in science, because our economy is thirsting for world class innovators and engineers.”

Alexandra’s Story

Alexandra Fuentes was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BS in biological science and an honors BS in economics. She went on to earn her teaching certificate from Harvard University. While at the University of Pittsburgh, Alexandra interned at and consequently became a consultant for Magee Womancare International, where she coordinated health care and career workshops for Somali-Bantu refugee girls. She also interned with the Press Secretary of the Mayor of Pittsburgh. She volunteered and classroom assisted at two low-performing schools in the Pittsburgh area, as well as worked with preschoolers as an AmeriCorps member for Jumpstart Pittsburgh. These experiences further confirmed her resolve to pursue teaching and consequently education policy.

For Alexandra, teaching is a family tradition. It was her grandmother’s unfulfilled wish to teach and today seven of Alexandra’s family members are teachers, including two aunts, three cousins and Alexandra’s mother who teaches mathematics and science in Youngstown City Schools in Ohio.

Alexandra was a University of Pittsburgh Honors Scholar and has received Harvard University’s Leadership in Education Award. She is an accomplished pianist and considered attending a conservatory to major in piano performance before deciding to pursue science.

In 2010, Alexandra received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to attend the 2010 AIDS Vaccine Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, with five of her students and another teacher in support of an interdisciplinary project on body systems and evolution.