An Intern Leads the Way Raising Thousands for Latino STEM Alliance
BOSTON—Each year, CDM Smith hosts a t-shirt design contest as part of its summer internship program. The winning design is printed on t-shirts gifted to interns to proudly wear, commemorating a summer of professional development, teamwork and fun. Welcoming more than 100 interns this summer, 22 students entered designs into the contest. Construction representative intern Sofia Serna designed the winning shirt, which creatively illustrated the firm’s service offerings.
CDM Smith leaders were so impressed with this year’s winner, they decided to make the shirt available to all employees with a charitable incentive: profits would benefit an organization of Serna’s choice. She selected the Latino STEM Alliance (LSA), a Boston-based non-profit that works to address unequal access to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs for underserved youths. LSA partners with schools and community organizations to inspire and empower children with hands-on STEM learning.
"I can proudly say that I am part of the less than 2% of the STEM workforce that is Hispanic,” said Serna. “Since high school, I have made it my personal mission to give back to my roots and empower the Hispanic community to realize its fullest potential through STEM access and development."
Everyone at CDM Smith has the opportunity to make a difference.
Serna made quite an impact during her brief summer internship at CDM Smith. Employees, friends and families from across the globe jumped at the opportunity to support her mission, purchasing 476 shirts and raising $3,595 for the LSA. The firm’s Executive Leadership Team was particularly impressed with Serna’s efforts and her passion for increasing Latinx representation in STEM and chose to match the donations, bringing the total contribution to $7,190.
“We are so proud of Sofia and the impact she has made to increase diversity in STEM and in our industry,” said Chairman and CEO Tim Wall. “And while she was only here for a few months, she influenced our firm and made a real difference in the lives of others. It’s not uncommon for an intern to have that power here. Everyone at CDM Smith has the opportunity to make a difference.”
Serna was born in Colombia and raised in South Florida. She recently entered her third year at the University of Florida and is studying civil engineering. In 2020, she was one of four students to earn a $5,000 STEM scholarship from CDM Smith. She made quite an impression this summer delivering legendary client service and providing an opportunity for her colleagues to support a worthy cause in style. Her friends at CDM Smith can’t wait to see what she does next!
CDM Smith is a privately owned engineering and construction firm providing legendary client service and smart solutions in water, environment, transportation, energy and facilities. Passionate about our work and invested in each other, we are inspired to think and driven to solve the world's environmental and infrastructure challenges.
I have made it my personal mission to give back to my roots and empower the Hispanic community to realize its fullest potential through STEM access and development.