Maritza Lopez

Pathways Student Leadership Cohort Fellow

I am a proud transfer student from Santa Monica College and earned my B.A. in Art History with a minor in African American Studies at UCLA. During my time at UCLA, I advocated and participated in two newly launched programs in the Fall of 2019; Bruin Underground Scholars and Bruin McKinney-Vento Initiative at UCLA. As an intern at BRC, I supported the programs that tackled barriers for students who experienced homelessness, incarceration, and food insecurity in higher education. I am now the Director of the Bruin Underground Scholars where it is an honor to support our FI/SI students. I became involved with this line of work due to having loved ones, friends, and family members with a history of incarceration. Being system-impacted motivated me to assist community members such as being a Community Health Worker and the Re-Entry Workforce Navigator in the RISE (Re-Entry Program) Department at St. John’s Community Health Clinic in South LA. In my free time, I enjoy visiting museums. I volunteer at St. Francis Center providing College & Career Readiness programs to the Pico Union neighborhood youth. I participate with the Youth Law Center Rising Scholars’ Statewide Youth Justice Leadership Cohort advocating for incarcerated youth in juvenile hall facilities for college dual enrollment programs. Lastly, I love to cook!