Elizabeth Lopez ’09

Elizabeth Lopez

Los Angeles, California

Majors: Sociology and Chicano studies
Graduate studies: MA in social work, USC School of Social Work

Elizabeth Lopez is passionate about serving others, especially those from underserved communities and women of color.

Lopez has led the Latino Social Work Caucus at the School of Social Work and volunteered for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s campaign. Lopez plans to go into program management and development, working with at-risk youth and families.

Lopez was a case manager with the Gang Reduction Youth Development (GRYD) program out of the Los Angeles mayor’s office until August 2012. The position required a more holistic approach to the area’s gang problem, Lopez said, where she “met the youth where they were,” including in the home, school, and extracurricular activities.

This method allowed Lopez to gain insight into possible family stressors and trauma. While with the GRYD program, she worked in Glassell Park, a small Los Angeles neighborhood where she was raised.

Lopez also volunteered as a mentor with Youth Mentoring Connection until last year, where she was matched with a 14-year-old Latina. Besides covering topics such as peer pressure, drug use, and self-esteem, “I was also able to do individual outings with my mentee, which even included a guided trip to Scripps,” said Lopez. “We had a great bond and often talked about our futures, including my mentee’s dream to be successful and go to college.”


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