When Marizza Delgado (Rachel Carson ’21, Technology and Information Management) attended computer science lectures through Mission College, she was only one of three women in her classes.
It wasn’t until she transferred to UC Santa Cruz in 2019 as an Information and Technology Management major that Delgado began to find her community of women, within a male dominated field. Delgado joined organizations like Girls Who Code and Society of Women Engineersand highlights the importance of finding that community for current students.
“I felt very alone when I started out as a CS major because I was also a transfer student,” Delgado says. “I didn’t really have my study group or people that understood what I was going through, but after I joined Girls Who Code and Society of Women Engineers, I found my community on campus.”
Delgado emphasizes that about one-quarter of computing-related jobs are held by women. She says that one of her goals is to increase the visibility of STEM role models for women.
“Having a solid circle of women really improves the quality of your work and life,” Delglado says.
While living in Santa Cruz and attending UCSC, Delgado frequently commuted to modeling shoots in San Francisco. She says her de ella skills in time management, her multipotentialite personality, and having her community on campus allowed her to keep up with her classes and pursue multiple passions.
Delgado has modeled for international brands like H&M, Lululemon, Adidas, American Eagle, NorthFace, Target, Macy’s, and more. She has also walked two seasons of New York Fashion Week and can be seen on the pages of Seventeen Magazine, Cosmopolitan USand Marie-Claire Magazine.
Most recently, Delgado was crowned Miss Earth New York 2021 and represented New York in the Miss Earth USA Pageant held in Jan. 2022 and placed in the top 20. A self described STEMinist and avid environmentalist, Delgado used her platform on the Miss Earth USA stage to advocate for the representation of women in STEM, and promote plant-based diets.
Along with her duties as the reigning crown holder of Miss Earth New York 2021, and occasional modeling shoots, Delgado works as a full-time data scientist at Etsy.
“I have very different interests in life, and I feel like other women should feel free to pursue all of their passions,” Delgado says. “I feel like this is the era of multipotentialite women. That’s why I’ve been motivated to pursue the things I like to do all at once.”
From the Bay Area to the Big Apple
Delgado entered her first beauty pageant immediately after graduating from high school in San Jose. She entered Miss Pacific Coast Teen USA 2017, emphasizing that pageants are huge in Filipino culture, but little did she know how her decision would set the course for the next five years of her life, and elevate her career path.
Delgado was crowned Miss Pacific Coast Teen USA 2017 at 18 years old and was immediately scouted by a modeling agency in New York City. She signed with the agency and moved to NYC in June 2017, all while completing computer science courses online through Mission College.
It wasn’t until she was accepted as a UCSC transfer in 2019 that Delgado returned to the Bay Area. She was only able to attend the university in-person for five months before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the campus in March 2020. Delgado moved back home with her family in San Jose, completed her UCSC classes online, and interned at two startups tech companies as a data science intern.
After graduating in 2021, Delgado returned to New York and began working with Etsy’s Product Analytics & Strategic Finance team. She and her team help support a platform of over 500,000 small businesses.
“I would never have expected to be a fashion model and Data Scientist living in NYC,” she says. “This is why I encourage young ladies to compete in pageants, some of my best friends I’ve met through pageantry, I’ve gained so much confidence, and it has truly been a stepping stone in my career!”
Delgado says one of her biggest goals in life is to represent New York on the Miss USA stage and ultimately represent the US in Miss Universe. She is already registered to compete in the preliminary pageant, Miss New York USA, in June 2022.