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Behind the Scenes: Maritza Lopez, Student Educator

With the start of the academic year, we welcome back four returning UCLA student educators: Maritza Lopez, Carolina Guerrero, Geneva West, and Alex Gonzalez-Garcia. We thank them for their past dedication to offering public tours to our K-12 and adult visitors, and their current commitment to helping us design new experiences for visitors and future UCLA student educators during the Fowler’s temporary closure.

In this edition, we feature Maritza Lopez, a Santa Monica College transfer student completing her third year at UCLA, majoring in Art History and minoring in African American Studies. Maritza is passionately dedicated to engaging incarcerated, formerly incarcerated, and homeless populations through the arts and arts education. Her career goals include working in museum education and making museums more accessible, equitable, and inclusive.

In addition to her job at the Fowler, Maritza also works for Bruin Underground Scholars and Bruin McKinney Vento Initiative at UCLA. The Bruin Underground Scholars are committed to developing “a prison-to-school pipeline” through recruitment, retention, and advocacy. By creating a pathway for formerly incarcerated and system-impacted individuals to enter higher education, Bruin Underground Scholars seek to destigmatize incarceration and enable this population to reach its full potential. Maritza also dedicates time to the Bruin McKinney Vento Initiative, which fosters academic success by providing community, case management, and support with basic needs to students who identify as homeless. Maritza is sharing her knowledge and experience of working with incarcerated communities in our upcoming programs and educational initiatives. We are honored to have her returning to the Fowler this year.

Stay tuned for student educator participation in our online Lunch & Learns!

At top: Maritza Lopez, photo by Juan Maya / @jmayaphoto
Center: Fowler Student Educators, 2019, photo by Allison Clark
Bottom: Bruin Underground Scholars, Brenda Lopez IG: @vida_nepantlera

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