Inspirational. Passionate. Noteworthy. These are just a few words that describe Aurora Public Schools Youth Advocate Vanesa Lopez. The Panama-born activist works diligently every day to ensure APS’ immigrant and refugee student population receives the highest-quality education.
“I work with children who speak all languages and I love it!” said Lopez. “I have students from Malaysia, Burma, Ethiopia and so many other countries. This is what I love most about APS. It represents the world!”
Lopez’s undying efforts to create more opportunities for underrepresented students recently caught the attention of the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame. The organization, which honors women who open new frontiers for others, partnered with the Colorado Women’s Education Fund to provide scholarships for trailblazing women like Lopez who are pursuing a higher education.
Lopez stands as one of only three women from across the state who earned the organization’s honorable M.L. Hanson Scholarship. The scholarship shines light on Lopez’s demonstration of leadership, service to the community and strong dedication to education. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages at Metropolitan State University of Denver and applied the M.L. Hanson Scholarship toward her Educational Foundations, Policy and Practice Master’s program she is currently enrolled in at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Lopez aspires to become a school administrator, Title I coordinator, educational policy advisor and/or grant coordinator. In the midst of striving to achieve her dreams, Lopez also provides Spanish translation services at area hospitals and volunteers for the American Red Cross.
“I’m the kind of person that likes to put things into action!” Lopez exclaimed. “Nobody is going to stop me from giving back to the community.”
APS is proud to have staff members like Lopez who go above and beyond to ensure every student shapes a successful future. Lopez upholds our APS 2020: Shaping the Future core belief that all students must have equitable access to learning opportunities, technology and environments that support them in reaching their full potential.