She's Part of a Community - Denise Lopez '11

She's Part of a Community

For Denise Lopez '11, traveling has been a lifelong dream. Born in Elgin, Ill., Denise spent seven years living with her family in Mexico, and in the future, she hopes to travel the world, and wants to perform service work in South Africa or Latin America. A sociology and political science double-major, Denise is also working toward a minor in intercultural studies.

Denise’s older sister, Adriana Lopez '08, introduced her to Saint Mary’s and helped lead her down the Avenue. “It all made sense,” Denise says of her decision to attend Saint Mary’s. She was already familiar with the campus after visiting her sister here and was excited to participate in campus activities, an opportunity to explore her passions. 

Those passions include community involvement and advocacy. Denise volunteers with Take Ten, a community violence protection program for children, and S-O-S, a local rape crisis center and advocacy program for victims of rape, sexual abuse, and domestic violence. “I enjoy helping others and making a difference in the world and this is because Saint Mary’s has given me opportunities to practice and be involved,” she says. 

As a student representative on the College’s Intercultural Studies committee, Denise is making a difference on campus too. She works with the Office of Multicultural Services and Student Programs [MSSP], and says, “[MSSP] has helped me develop and maintain relationships with other multicultural students and provided me with various opportunities to engage in my community.”

MSSP has also given Denise the opportunity to attend national conferences, most recently the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute Conference in Chicago, Ill. The conference, which featured nationally recognized speakers, inspired her to develop her leadership skills through volunteer experiences, and affirmed her chosen path to service beyond graduation. She says, “I feel that Saint Mary’s has offered me unique experiences and challenges that aren’t offered at other schools.”

—Sarah Sheppard '11