Socially aware and politically conscious, Joel Urena has designed a life at Tandon that propels him to push pass the meritocracy. During his first year of study, Joel wanted to shy away from the standard archetypes to build his own engineering space, one that has been sparked and fueled by multi-digital media. For Joel, using technology to create space for stories that need to be known, from a variety of social identities and locations, is critical to making our world a more inclusive place.
Joel wants future Black students to know and understand that there’s a duality to the experience at NYU — what they see and what they deserve. Challenges will be a part of their experiences at NYU, but this should not be allowed to limit their potential, curtail their dreams. Joel wants these young, aspiring STEM professionals to stay focused through the social confusion and to believe that doors will open for them as Black students. Instead of focusing on proving that they can compete with their peers, Joel implores Black and Latino men to own their place at Tandon and to know that they deserve to be here.