Hi! I’m Aurora (from the Aurora Borealis – the Northern Lights). I’m a professional beach volleyball player, software engineer geek and aspiring firefighter.
My first college volleyball was at Palomar JC at age 15. I then went to Cabrillo JC, helping lead the team to 3rd in state in 1997. I secured a scholarship at CSU Dominguez Hills, leading the team in blocks and block assists, where I still hold records for blocking and hitting. I started playing beach volleyball in Santa Cruz and LA in 2006, and started training professionally in 2010, eventually moving down to Los Angeles County to pursue it.
My highest finishes are 5th’s in the National Volleyball League, 1st’s in the EVP Tour, 13th in the AVP Tour, and 13th’s in the Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Tour.
Beach volleyball rankings:
My love of computers started when I was in middle school, and my dad got me a 286 computer, which was a bit outdated at the time. I started connecting to Bulletin Board Systems on my modem and learning about the internet. When I started college, I wasn’t sure which science major I wanted to pick, but I soon gravitated towards Computer Science. I ended up getting my Bachelor’s and Master’s in Computer Science from CSU Dominguez Hills and CSU Long Beach, respectively. I worked for a few software companies before working for 6.5 years at Yahoo!, Inc. I’ve been a Linux geek for ages, have been using PHP since I started programming, and got to work on some awesome machine learning, big data, and parallel processing projects using Hadoop while at Yahoo!.
My career in Computer Science was great, but there was something missing. In the fall of 2011, I decided to become a firefighter. I started out by getting my EMT license that December. Then, I worked as a Fire Intern / Ambulance Operator for the Hermosa Beach Fire Department for the next three years (taking breaks for the 10 week El Camino Fire Academy in 2012 and the 9 month UCLA Daniel Freeman Paramedic school in 2014/2015). I first participated in, and then mentored for the volunteer organization Fitness for Future Firefighters.