Juarez Graduate Fulfills Promise

Caption by Ashmar Mandou

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - EducationDuring graduation season there are countless studious Latinx students receiving recognition for their stellar academic achievements. Among them is Juarez Community Academy High School senior Elizabeth Lopez who fulfilled a promise she made years ago to her mother. Lopez, a Pilsen resident, is the first in her family to attend college on a full scholarship. An achievement that is beyond words for her parents, who are both immigrants from Mexico. Growing up, Lopez heard her mother describe stories of immigrating to the United States at 15 years-old, from an unsteady home life that required sleeping in attics to not knowing where her next meal would come from. Lopez soon made a promise to her mother that she would always make education a priority in her life. Choosing to attend her neighborhood school over a selective enrollment, Lopez wanted to stay in the community that helped raise her so that in return she could give back. Lopez said she has thrived not only from International Baccalaureate program at Juarez but also its embrace of her Mexican-American culture and its strong ties to the community. As president of the school’s student council, Lopez organized efforts with community partners and organizations to ensure that all undocumented immigrants — especially students — in the Pilsen neighborhood knew their rights and felt safe. After four years at Juarez Community Academy High School, Lopez will attend Connecticut College next fall on a full tuition ride, pursuing her dream to become an immigration lawyer.

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