Milena's Open Road

MILENA ACOSTA

Education Outreach Supervisor
Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific

“Choose what you love…For me, there's nothing that makes me feel more alive than doing the things that I love or being with the people you love. There's a lifeline to that, an energy in that.”

INTERESTS:

Environment & Nature Science

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Acceptance Character Self-Reflection Struggle Choices Exploration Family Passion Education Experience Opportunity Pressure

FOUNDATION:

Teaching / Mentoring

BIOGRAPHY:

  • As the daughter of immigrants, she knew she was expected to be a doctor or a lawyer.
  • Once she got to college, she finally started to "rebel" a little bit; changed her major to biology.
  • She'd realized she didn't want to be a doctor; loved animals and science, so biology blended her interests.
  • Participated in a study-abroad course in Roatán, mostly because it required her to get scuba-certified, which she thought sounded fun.
  • Says the first time she went diving in Roatán, she was hooked; decided she wanted to dive all over the world, pursue marine biology.
  • One of her professors recommended that she work at the Aquarium of the Pacific after graduation; she's been there for 11 years.
  • Growing up, she was the poor kid in class, didn't look like anyone else and had to take a bus for miles to get to school.
  • Now, she totally embraces who she is, and she uses it to inspire Hispanic kids at the elementary schools she visits.

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