Kari Rosas was born and raised in Mexico City. She came to the U.S. on her own at the age of 18 to attend Arizona State University (ASU) after graduating from Tec de Monterrey high school with an International Baccaleaureate diploma. She holds a B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering, a minor in Materials Science and Engineering, and a M.S. in Biomedical Engineering. She also completed the Grand Challenge Scholars Program of the National Academy of Engineering and is a member of the National Engineering Honor Society and the Biomedical Engineering Honor Society.
As an undergraduate, Kari assisted in cancer and cardiac tissue engineering research at ASU. During the first year of her Masters, she developed a hand rehabilitation device for hand burn patients for a startup. Her M.Sc. thesis work involved developing thermo-responsive biomaterials for endovascular embolization in Dr. Brent Vernon’s biomaterials laboratory. After graduating, she worked at a startup, where she created protocols for efficient human biomaterials extraction and characterization. Throughout her college career, she competed in ballroom earning numerous medals. She is also a salsa dancer and has been hired to perform locally, in Colorado, and Las Vegas. Currently she has her own company, Butter Lotion LLC, which specializes in direct-to-consumer, white label and private label of personal care products focused on ingredients, packaging and processes that minimize carbon footprint.
At Si Se Puede Foundation, her focus is on She Se Puede, Tutoring and SAT math for grades 7th-12th, as well as teaching Salsa dancing. She believes it is critical to prepare youth for college and help them set their goals; the earlier the better. She is passionate about providing opportunities to help them reach their full potential. She is particularly interested in attracting more diversity to STEM fields. As a minority, she has been told numerous times not to pursue her goals and wants to be there for youth to tell them the opposite. They can achieve anything they work for. It will not be easy, but hard work beats talent every day.