Department Spotlight: Executive Assistant Kayla Jimenez
Sometimes, you have to fall before you can fly. This quote has been my guiding principle throughout my life. I was born and raised in San Jose, California. I grew up in a single-parent household with my mother and brother. My grandparents immigrated to the United States from the Azores Islands, my grandmother from Terceira, and my grandfather from Sao Jorge. My father’s side of the family is from Mexico City.
Life has taught me invaluable lessons, particularly during times of adversity and personal loss. I firmly believe the universe won’t burden us with challenges we cannot overcome. I experienced this first through my journey as a first-generation college student, graduating with an AA from Evergreen Valley College, and again when I became a homeowner for the first time. Both represent significant personal achievements, anchoring my belief and keeping me motivated.
In my current role, I have the privilege of working alongside diverse team members and contributing to various committees and projects. This July marks my first anniversary with the Bioengineering Department. I look back with pride on the milestones achieved during this short time and the people who inspired and supported me along the way. One accomplishment that brought me joy was the successful launch of the first Take-A-Child to Work Day for the School of Engineering. This event, sponsored by the School of Engineering Connect Committee, aims to inspire and educate the next generation of engineers, scientists, and academic professionals, tapping into their innate curiosity and imagination. It was wonderful to be able to spearhead this event as it brought together my professional interests and my greatest source of inspiration - my children. They drive me to push boundaries, embrace resilience, and cultivate a mindset of forgiveness and understanding.
When I reflect on the influential figures who have shaped my journey, two people come to mind – my mother, Rosa, and of course, my husband, Jesus. Despite facing numerous challenges, my mom is the strongest person I know. Her selflessness, generosity, and unwavering support continue to inspire me to this day. Over the last decade, my husband has emerged as my rock and biggest supporter. His belief in my abilities has fueled my drive to succeed and pursue my dreams. With their support, I am able to make the most of my time here at Stanford. As I embrace the present and look toward the future, I am excited to continue my professional journey and make a positive impact in the Bioengineering community.