Milena's Open Road


    Costa Mesa, CA


    Live: Season 1


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.”


Environment & Nature Science


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


Teaching / Mentoring


advice, aquarium, bilingual, Caribbean, columbia, different, diving, doctor, embrace, expectations, graduate, immigrant, job, love, marine biology, parents, scuba, south america, Spanish, study abroad


  • 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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