SOYD Workshops & Speakers 

Jazlyn Carvajal

Co-Founder | Speaker | Author

Her Passion for her community led her and four other M.I.T. alum to found The Latinas in STEM Foundation, a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire and empower Latinas to pursue and thrive in STEM fields. As co-founder, she has been at the forefront of reshaping the landscape for STEM interest in urban communities as a whole. She has appeared on Fox News Dallas and Despierta America on Univision promoting the ideals and principles of this powerfully uplifting organization. 

Ms. Carvajal received her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of TEchnology and is President-Emeritus of the MIT Club of Northern New Jersey. Ms. Carvajal was a featured speaker at the M.I.T. Women's Unconference, Harvard LEAD Conference, and Ingeniosas Science and Technology For All Conference in Chile. In 2014, she was the recipient of the Union City Puerto Rican Woman of the Year Award. Ms. Carvajal served as Co-Chair to New Jersey Governor, Phil Murphy's Transition Committee on Government Technology and Innovation. 

By her own account, Ms. Carvajal is just getting started. 

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  • Innovative Critical Thinking 

  • Inspiring Great Leaders 

  • My STEM Journey 

  • Never Be Cold

  • Supporting A STEM Career: A Workshop for Parents (English & Spanish) 

Dr. Ian W. Marrero

Co-Founder | Speaker | Author

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Dr. Ian W. Marrero is a former real estate and family law attorney who has experience in both corporate and private practice, respectively. As SOYD's business coach, Dr. Marrero employs a practical approach to solving problems. 

Previously consulting for a prominent hedge fund and real estate development firm, Dr. Marrero authored Better Business Practices, a workbook for startups. Dr. Marrero also developed and taught a New Jersey grant funded twelve-week intensive Business Development Course.

Dr. Marrero received his Juris Doctorate from Rutgers School of Law, Newark, and is a self-published author of fantasy fiction.


  • Mindsets & Strategies That Will Grow Your Business

  • Business Writing

  • The Small Business Survival Plan

  • Grant Writing Secrets: How to Write Better Grants

Gerald Appelstein


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  • The Pencil Trading Game

  • My STEM Journey

Gerald "Jerry" Appelstein has been involved in the oil business since his graduation from MIT where he majored in chemical engineering with minors in English literature and economics. Mr. Applestein has worked for both Exxon and Starsupply GFI and was Tauber Oil Company's Vice President working as an international physical oil trader. Currently, Jerry is President of Applehouse LLC, an angel investor and venture capital funding platform.


For 15 years, Mr. Appelstein was a member of the Corporation Development Committee, and recently completed his three-year term as Vice-President on the MIT Alumni Association Board of Directors. Currently, Jerry serves on the Awards Committee responsible for recognizing the very best among the MIT alumni/ae population. In 2015, he was honored with MIT's highest honor, recognizing lifetime achievement in support of the Institute. 

Mr. Appelstein is the past Chairman of the Board of Complexions Contemporary Ballet and previously served as Trustee and Head of the Development Subcommittee of New York City's Joyce Theater. Today, Jerry serves as Board President of Alison Cook-Beatty Dance. In 2012, he received the Career transitions for Dance Organization's lifetime achievement award. Additionally, Jerry is a past executive committee trustee member for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. He also supports the Broadway Cares organization and is a trustee of the Skyline Theatre Company. 

"It was refreshing working with a team that just got it, and was able to provide insight with little direction."

-Mahdi Hedhli, CEO - Go Vanguard