Staff Bios

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Maria Lopez, Director of Community Organizing

As the first generation college entrant in her family, Maria continues to break barriers as a senior at CSULB majoring in Chicano Latino Studies with a minor in Global Migration. Beforehand, Maria studied at LBCC where she played college soccer while serving as the Associated Student Body, President. In 2013, she received her AA in Social Sciences and a certificate of accomplishment in Administrative Assistance: Microsoft Office. While at LBCC & CSULB, Maria coached for Atletico Long Beach Soccer Club. Leading two teams of young Latinas ages 8-15.

At the same time, Maria had the desire to become a coach that changed lives. Therefore she not only trained these girls to become good soccer players, but also mentored them through her education program. Upon creating GIRLLS (Gaining Intellectual Resources for Life Long Success) Maria thought of all the important things she had missed while growing up. Centering the program on issues that affected the Latina population. The curriculum included- educational planning, how to build healthy relationship & dating violence prevention, how to build a healthy body image, developing leadership skills, and caring for the environment through a presentation on environmental issues.

Maria’s passion for Social Justice stems from her own struggles with her status, the challenges it brings to her family and overall how it affects her community. Maria hopes to continue her work in community and empower others to do the same always having in mind that “leaders create leaders, not followers.