- Brown University AmeriCorps VISTA Fellows
Hometown: Chandler, Arizona
Education: B.S. Global Studies, emphasis in Political Economy & Development, B.A. Psychology, minors in Business Administration and Spanish, The University of Arizona
Biography: Evangelina Lopez serves as an AmeriCorps VISTA member at the Providence After School Alliance (PASA). As the Quality and Assessment VISTA, Evangelina’s paramount role is to manage PASA’s data information systems and assist with the data analysis, assessments and reports. She coordinates all program quality and youth outcome data collection activities for PASA’s middle and high school initiatives. Prior to serving, Evangelina attended the University of Arizona in Tucson, where she graduated Cum Laude and with Honors. While attending college, Evangelina was fully committed to the betterment of her campus community and the city of Tucson as a Resident Assistant and Director of Leadership & Service for the National Residence Hall Honorary. Evangelina also spent a summer studying abroad in Guatemala, where she interned at the Office of Human Rights and conducted field research on the psychosocial impacts of political violence in Guatemala. Upon graduation, Evangelina received the Outstanding Senior Award from the University of Arizona Hispanic Alumni Association for her commitment to serving the Latinx community. Now, she is serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA member for a year to gain experience in the public sector before embarking on her journey through law school.
Why I Serve: I’m committed to serving because I am deeply passionate about social justice and service, and I believe working in the public sector will allow me to manifest these passions. I knew I wanted to serve in the education sector because I owe my success in school to all the educators who believed in me throughout my academic journey and encouraged me to attend college as a first-generation college student. I enjoy serving at PASA because I understand the vital role afterschool programs play in the lives of youth, especially for latchkey youth. As a young latchkey girl, I tenaciously worked to excel in my advanced courses while also caring for and tutoring my younger siblings. During this time, I was only able to remotely participate in afterschool programs and enjoyed the mentorship I received from educators who believed in me. My parents couldn’t be fully involved with my education due to language barriers and their unending commitment to financially sustain our family. Therefore, I relied on the educators in my life to guide me academically. At the end of the day, the only act my parents were capable of was telling me and my siblings: “education is the key to success.” At least for me, that was enough; enough to fuel my hopes so that I could one day attain all my dreams — for my sake and the sake of my family.
Why Brown University AmeriCorps VISTA Fellowship? I joined the Brown University AmeriCorps VISTA Fellowship because it will assist me in building a stronger foundation in the public service sector as I enhance my knowledge on various social justice issues involving inequity in the education system. I also believe this fellowship will open a plethora of future opportunities for me because I would eventually like to work in public service. My ultimate goal is to attend law school and focus on international human rights and transitional justice post-political violence. Furthermore, I chose to participate in the fellowship to advance my post-graduate career before law school. I was most intrigued by the idea of building capacity through research that will assist underprivileged communities while working with like-minded individuals striving to address community challenges.