Amanda Lopez was a young sixth grader at Covington Middle School when she and her mother first joined Con Mi MADRE (then known as the Junior League of Austin Hispanic Mother-Daughter Program) back in 2000. Amanda was eager to become a participant; she wanted an outlet to connect with other Latinas in her community, gain leadership skills and receive information about the college process.
Her wants were more than met, and although she has a hard time picking just one favorite memory to share from the program, she very much enjoyed the experiences she gained at the annual Leadership Summit held at the University of Texas at Austin. “I think it was important for me to see myself on a college campus and interact with my fellow Latinas outside of school,” Amanda expressed.
After graduating from Bowie High School in 2006, Amanda was able to attend that university that allowed her to become comfortable with a college environment. In the Fall, she became a Longhorn at the University of Texas at Austin. Although a success within itself, earning a bachelor’s degree was not Amanda’s end game. “I have always known that I wanted to be a lawyer but I thought I would do it later in life. It was not until I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and started working with the community that I realized I was ready for Law School,” said Amanda. And so, she headed to St. Mary’s University to attend the School of Law.
Amanda graduated this past May and on November 15, 2014 former Con Mi MADRE board member Judge Orlinda Naranjo of the 419th Civil District Court of Texas, opened her chambers to Amanda’s family and friends and swore Amanda in to the State Bar. As a newly appointed lawyer, Amanda has great aspirations. “I want to know I have made a positive impact on my community through direct representation, and advocacy. I see myself going into policy work once I have gained practical experience,” she shared.
As an educated and successful Latina, we asked Amanda what advice she has to offer to our participants. “Don’t tell yourself no. Apply, volunteer, go after or seek out any opportunity you want. Half the battle is putting yourself out there to receive all the success you deserve,” she replied.
Amanda had one final note to share with us: “I appreciate all that I gained from the HMDP and am so pleased to see the growth and continued success of the program.”
We are extremely proud of the accomplishments Amanda has made and the example she leaves for our current participants.