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Leslie Lopez

Major: Health Science
Graduation Date: May, 2018
Career Plans: Open a non-profit clinic for underrepresented populations

My name is Leslie Lopez and I am a first-generation college student. I was born and raised in Oxnard, California, surrounded by fields that my family worked in. My parents always told my older brother and I that we had to study if we wanted to have a better lifestyle however I did not have much guidance on what to expect going into university. I started CI as a first-time freshman and at the time my brother was a second year student at San Diego State University. Having two children in college was financially burdensome for my parents which is why I chose CI because it was close to home and I would be able to commute. Although I would have liked to move away to college and experience living on campus, I am having a great college experience at CI. I have made great connections with faculty and staff, as well as strong friendships.

My transition to CI was not an easy one. I felt lost and disconnected until I began to get involved in clubs and organizations. I am part of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlan (M.E.Ch.A.). This experience has taught me time management and how to set an example to Chicanx students who may be struggling in college and feeling out of place. My involvement in this organization has motivated me to do well academically. I was Chair of M.E.Ch.A. and I am currently the Chair or CHILFASA. Becoming involved on campus encourages me want to study more hours at home and become a better student. I am more confident about networking with faculty and staff, and as a result I have become aware of more opportunities for students.

I am majoring in Health Science with a minor in Chicanx Studies and Sociology. I enjoy the idea of Public Health and educating people on disease prevention. I want to be able to help my community with health disparities we encounter. I am excited to graduate in May of 2018 and hope to one day open a non-profit clinic for underrepresented populations and offer affordable services

My goal as a University Culture mentor is to empower students to pursue a higher education. I hope to model determination and dedication to achieve the goals I set for myself. I would like you all to know that anything is possible if you set your mind and heart to it. Stay focused to your end result because not all paths are smooth, your journey may have twists and turns but do not get discouraged, simply remind yourself of what you want to accomplish. If you are the first in your family to go to college, do not be afraid to open the doors for other family members. Remember that you are a role model and are making a difference. You are not alone, we are here to help…I believe in YOU!