BOARD MEMBER BIOGRAPHIES:
Yuri Lopez is a second year student at George Mason University. She is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Public Relations, with a minor in Tourism and Events Management. After arriving to the United States from Guatemala in 1999, Ms. Lopez has put forth outstanding effort towards her education and community. Since second grade, she has been affiliated with the Boys and Girls Club of the greater Washington area (Culmore Branch) for over 11 years. She joined as a member, and in high school became a counselor; where she mentored low income and at risk children who needed guidance and motivation to further their education. Later, she became a region ambassador, where she represented the club throughout numerous conferences and national student panels; and then in 2010 she was awarded Youth of the Year for the Culmore Branch. Ms. Lopez was also part of the Heritage Language Literacy Club for eight years where she dedicated one day every week towards helping younger children, from first through fourth grade learn how to read, write, and speak Spanish. For the twelve years Ms. Lopez has lived in the US, her involvement with numerous community programs and non-profits reflect her passion towards working with minorities and at risk students.
Yuri Lopez’ words:
I am aware that in this rich country, education is greatly valued. It allows for a stronger voice, and greater impact in society. As an immigrant and first generation student, I have endured many financial and educational struggles. Thanks to my mentors, and my community involvement, I managed to overcome those obstacles thus furthering my education. The mission and purpose of United for Social Justice allows me to work hand-in-hand with students, who need guidance in furthering their education. I have the opportunity to motivate and help form the countless future leaders in many troubled communities.
For me, the key to success is perseverance, where one does not allow obstacles to impede anyone from achieving his/her goals. With USJ’s support, I can embellish the idea of perseverance into the lives of young students, and help make their dreams a reality. As Nido Quibein once said, “Your present circumstances don't determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.”