Karen Esparza Lopez is first-generation Mexican Immigrant and former foster youth studying Political Science. During her time in foster care, she witnessed extreme injustices that many foster youth face in the child welfare system. She has seen the ways in which local and federal governments have both failed at meeting the needs of their underrepresented community members in the foster care system. She hopes to resolve these issues through a career in public service. She is most passionate about resolving issues regarding child welfare, social welfare, education equity, accessible housing, and immigration.
She has worked with various non-profits throughout the state of California where she was able to advocate for foster youth through state/federal policy and legislative improvements. She currently works at John Burton Advocates for Youth where she continues to advocate to improve access to education, housing, health, and economic security for the historically marginalized communities of foster youth and homeless youth. Karen has also participated in county boards and committees in Riverside, California, where she served to improve the lives of homeless youth in the county through policy development, community engagement and political advocacy.
This summer, Karen hopes to intern for a local government or a non-profit organization that is interested in creating solutions to improve the lives of homeless youth while providing accessible forms of affordable housing.
Major(s): Political Science