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Meet Zackera Solis, Fire Protection Engineer & "Only 4%" Ambassador

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

We are thrilled to introduce you to one of SCFG's "Only 4%" Campaign Ambassadors, Zackera Solis. Zackera is a Fire Protection Engineer at Encore Fire Protection. She has worked in engineering and robotics for over 10 years. We recently had the opportunity to ask Zackera some questions about herself and learn a little more about this inspiring woman!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am the youngest of four (2 sisters and a brother). I'm from Sharon, Massachusetts but I just bought a house in Providence, Rhode Island. I attended The University of Hartford for my Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. I then went on to attend UMASS Lowell for my Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Certificate in Foundations of Business. I also have my Bachelor of Art in Spanish from Framingham State University, where I was president of Sigma Delta Pi.

How did you become a Fire Protection Engineer?

It happened by chance. I was looking to leave the world of robotics. A recruiter called and asked me if I like fires and if extinguishing them sounded interesting to me. I took the leap and haven't regretted it since.

What is a day in the life of Zackera like?

A day in the life of "Kera" is exhausting so you have to have quite a bit of energy! I make my morning rounds with all of my animals to make sure everyone is safe and sound. Then I'm off to work which varies from day to day. Some days I am working on a fire suppression system for the newest Jersey Mike's or a fancy New York restaurant. Other days I am working on gas station fire suppression systems or commercial buildings. The next gas station you're at, look up and try to find the red fire cylinder. The suppression nozzles are there too. We never notice these things but they are there to save a life.

What do you enjoy about your work?

I enjoy traveling. My job has allowed me to travel most of the United States and to South America. Peru and Ecuador are my favorites.

I also enjoy that my work makes a difference in the world. We protect and save lives. We make sure that if a fire breaks out, it can be controlled until the fire department arrives. Seconds and minutes matter!

What challenges have you faced?

Being a woman in a male dominated field isn't easy. I have had to prove myself quite a bit. Being a Black and Hispanic female is really out of place too. There is no one like me at my company and I hardly meet women or women of color in my field of choice. Also, my name is Zackera. It sounds like "Zack" so if you haven't met me, the assumption is that I am a male. I surprise quite a few people!

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

My hobbies are body building and crochet. These things sound like complete opposites but I swear they both require problem solving skills! I love animals and I have quite a few. I have 2 pythons, an Argentine Tegu, 3 dogs (a maltese, a pekingese chihuahua, and a frenchie). I also love building and fixing various things, like my mom's washing machine. I'm quite handy.

Is there anything else you'd like to share!

I love video games and I'm an avid Sim's player. I've been playing since it came out in 2000. 23 years is a long time!

Thank you, Zackera, for being a powerful role model for all the girls and young women in our programs! And thank you for helping SCFG raise awareness about the vast underrepresentation and systemic inequities that hinder the STEM ecosystem from realizing its full potential!

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