Maritza Lopez, Program Director

Picture of Maritza Lopez, BUS Program Director

My name is Maritza Lopez (she/her/Ella). I am the Program Director for the Bruin Underground Scholars Program here. It is a pleasure to soon meet with you in person if I have not been able to receive the opportunity to connect with you one-on-one.

Who am I?:I am a proud transferred student (SMC to UCLA). During my time at UCLA, I advocated and participated in two newly launched programs in the Fall of 2019; Bruin Underground Scholars and Bruin McKinney-Vento Initiative at UCLA. As an intern at BRC, I supported the programs that tackled barriers for students who experienced homelessness, incarceration, and food insecurity in higher education. I became involved with this line of work due to having loved ones, friends, and family members with a history of incarceration. Being system impacted me to assist community members such as being a Community Health Worker and the Re-Entry Workforce Navigator in the RISE (Re-Entry Program) Department at St. John’s Community Health Clinic in South LA. In my free time, I enjoy visiting museums. I volunteer at St. Francis Center providing College & Career Readiness programs to the Pico Union neighborhood youth. I participate with the Youth Law Center advocating for incarcerated youth in juvenile hall facilities for college dual enrollment programs. Lastly, I love to cook!

I am glad to be back on campus to do my to best support our BUS students.