Joanna was a teen mom who went back to school and got her GED because she wanted more for her children. Growing up, Joanna didn’t realize that education was an option for her. She’s proud that she broke the cycle of the traditional female roles in her family by seeking out education. Joanna said that her life might be different if it wasn’t for a school counselor who pushed her to peruse education as an option.
After her GED, Joanna received an associate degree in Psychology and then her bachelor’s degree, also in Psychology. She hopes to apply for law school to become an immigration lawyer. She’s happy to say that her children are all excited to attend college and want to seek higher education.
“I didn’t know financial aid existed. I didn’t know college was for my community. I know that I can do this, and I want others in my community to also know they can do it. I want to see this cycle change in the Latinx community. I want to get families involved and I want them to know they have all the opportunities.”
Coming from an undocumented family, Joanna understands the struggles and fears that come with being undocumented and hopes to help create access to education for everyone, despite the barriers in place. Joanna’s passion for immigrant rights motivated her to start multiple groups, clubs, and a grassroots organization that supports immigrant rights.
She believes education is the key to empowerment and strives for all people, including undocumented people, to have access to that empowerment.
Joanna’s advice for Parents:
“To be able to make a change, you have to work with a community and have support, a collective mindset.”
Joanna Lopez was recently hired as an Organizer for Stand for Children Indiana, and we are so pleased to have her on the team. Joanna has over 15 years working with the Latinx community around employment, education, homelessness, and immigrant rights. She also has over 8 years working in the non-profit field doing direct services, advocacy, program development, and equity education.