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Youth Stories

October 18, 2023

Achiever Spotlight: Elianny Lopez

Our monthly Achiever Spotlight highlights current and alumni Achievers. For current Achievers, we look at how the Friends-Boston program is impacting them today. For alumni, we see the role the program played in helping them to find success after they graduated. Their stories are part of our story, and we're excited to share them.

This month, we're highlighting an alumna Achiever: Elianny Lopez. She wrote the piece below that tells about her Friends-Boston journey.

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In the early stages of my life, I was introduced to Friends-Boston, an organization that would leave an indelible mark on my journey. Kindergarten was a time when my family faced considerable financial barriers. Despite the hardships, one of the most cherished memories I hold dear is my very first Christmas celebration with Friends-Boston. I vividly recall sitting down with my mentor at the time, a moment filled with excitement, and yet, some uncertainty. It marked the first Christmas where I had the liberty to choose my own gifts. My siblings and I eagerly awaited the day, knowing that this year, my mother wouldn't have to struggle to make ends meet. The joy of that holiday season was unparalleled.

Friends-Boston not only enriched my life with heartwarming experiences but also acted as a guiding light into the realm of adulthood. When I entered high school, my mentor, Shané Lewis, stepped into my life, becoming an invaluable support system. Shané helped me navigate the challenges high school brought, from scheduling to academic hurdles. She went above and beyond by arranging meetings with my teachers and advisors to ensure that I received the necessary academic support. Beyond academics, Shané was a mediator during times when my mother and I didn't see eye to eye, offering guidance and support that transcended the classroom.

Moreover, the guidance and mentorship from Friends-Boston extended far beyond academics and family support. It instilled in me a sense of responsibility and a strong commitment to giving back to my community. Witnessing the positive impact of their work, I was inspired to pay it forward. As I step into adulthood, I am deeply grateful for the life lessons, opportunities, and unwavering support provided by Friends-Boston and Shané Lewis. Their influence has not only shaped my educational and personal growth but also instilled in me a strong desire to make a positive impact in the lives of others, just as they have done for me.

Recently, Friends-Boston has gone above and beyond to further support my educational and career aspirations. They have facilitated my connection with a scholarship that will significantly assist me in my studies. Additionally, they have helped me connect with doctors, allowing me to shadow them, providing me with invaluable insights and experiences as I pursue my dream of becoming an anesthesiologist.

I am a first-generation college student, born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Boston. Currently, I am majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in psychology at UMass Boston. In the field of medicine, I'm deeply passionate about conducting research in microbiology and genomics, with the hopes of one day running my own research lab. I aspire to become an anesthesiologist, and I've had the privilege of shadowing remarkable physicians who have further ignited my passion for the operating room.

Outside of medicine, my interests are diverse and include all things related to beauty, whether it's skincare, fashion, or makeup. I have achieved a certification as a lash and brow technician and run my own business called Endless Beauty. I'm eager to become a licensed esthetician to gain in-depth knowledge about skincare. Upon obtaining my license, my aspiration is to establish my own storefront, providing a wide range of beauty services.

My journey with Friends-Boston has been one of transformation, support, and inspiration. Through the guidance and mentorship I received, I not only overcame obstacles but also learned the power of giving back and bringing light to the lives of others. It's a journey marked by the warmth and hope encapsulated in the nickname "sunshine," a reminder that, no matter the challenges, there is always a bright side. As I strive to fulfill my dream of becoming an anesthesiologist and explore the realms of beauty and skincare, I carry these lessons with me, determined to create a positive impact and radiate the light I discovered within.