Luz Rivas

Luz Rivas


California's 39th State Assembly District

Los Angeles, CA USA

Sometimes it feels like you don’t belong and you should try something else. We all go through that doubt and discouragement, but we do belong. We are supposed to be there.


By Roadtrip Nation

Luz Rivas


My road in life took a while to figure out.
I was raised by my single mother in the Pacoima neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, which is mainly made up of immigrants from Latin America—my family is from Mexico.
I developed an interest in computer science in fifth grade and then gravitated toward anything that involved technology throughout the rest of my school years.
I was encouraged by a teacher to apply to MIT—I got accepted with a full-ride scholarship and earned my bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.
I started my career in Chicago as an engineer and then transitioned into education because I became passionate about teaching STEM subjects to children.
I started a nonprofit in my community called DIY Girls, which focused on getting young girls interested in science and engineering.
In conjunction with my nonprofit, I decided I should become more of an advocate for girls in STEM and STEM education in low-income communities, so I started meeting with elected officials in the area.
After all of the networking I did, my name was brought to the table when the State Assembly seat became vacant—and I decided to run to fill it.
I worked really hard and won the campaign—I’m now an Assemblymember for the 39th District in California!
Keep following my journey



I represent about 500,000 people as the Assemblymember for California’s 39th District.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Upholding a Cause and Belief

Day to Day

When we’re in session, I travel to Sacramento, California’s state capitol. I go to Sacramento on Monday and return to my district on Thursday. In Sacramento, we have sessions two days a week where members present bills for us to vote on. I also meet with lobbyists who are lobbying for a bill to pass or fail. Additionally, I present my own bills that I’d like to pass into law. Back in my district, I attend events and meet with constituents in my office to see how I can help with their issues.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

There are so many resources online now that can help you get started if you're interested in computer science or engineering. I'd recommend starting there. You also need to understand that learning computer science and engineering doesn't come naturally to us. It's okay if it takes you a long time to solve a problem and it's okay to make mistakes. That's part of the process. Just don't give up.


The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"Girls don't belong in STEM."

Challenges I Overcame

Imposter Syndrome