Fatima Lopez

Fatima Lopez is a very dedicated and ambitious young women who constantly strives to improve her community. Being the daughter of immigrants, she finds it essential to advocate for those who are silenced by fear. Fatima accomplishes such things through public speaking and community service. Fatima believes that, with education, those in her community that have been neglected will have the power to succeed. She pushes herself to be an example to the youth in Richmond that feel trapped within stereotypes and a poor educational system.

Fatima believes in being humble, yet also being proud of accomplishments and hard work. She is a part of the Family Meeting Leaders at her school and discovered that many in her school struggle with mental health issues. Fatima knew she was in a position to serve as an advocate for those struggling with the stigma and misconceptions of mental health. She faced many obstacles, but after teaming up with another student, they finally created an opportunity to conduct a week of mental health awareness and organized a whole school meeting with 600 of her fellow students. At the end of the meeting, Fatima ran the student reflection and saw many stand up for the statement, "This meeting changed my perspective on mental health,” bringing her to sudden tears.  This was her proudest moment because she knew that all the hard and thoughtful work she had put into this would have long lasting effects on the school community and that this was the beginning of more advancements for breaking the stigma against mental health.

Additionally, Fatima is a very high achieving student that participates in many extracurriculars, and she is a three-season varsity athlete for cross country, cheer, and soccer. She is also part of the Key Club, is an Earth Team intern, and has received congressional recognition for being part of the Community Leadership Institute. Fatima has participated in rigorous summer programs in the outdoors with both NOLS and Outward bound, is a Yale Young Global Scholar, and will be attending Standford University for a cross country camp.

Fatima aspires to become a lawyer and advocate for those that are unlawfully and unfairly tried for their crimes. After living and growing up in a dangerous city she was exposed to events that made her afraid. After reflecting on her childhood, she is determined to change her community and every community that puts children in that environment. Growing up in a predominately Latino/ African American city she feels very connected with bringing justice to those who have been discriminated and forgotten.