Juarez Academy grad is first in her family to attend college on full scholarship

Chicago Proud
CHICAGO (WLS) -- It was a very special day for a high school senior from Benito Juarez Community Academy. She's not only graduating with a full scholarship to college, she's fulfilling a promise to her parents.

Monday marked a great personal accomplishment for Elizabeth Lopez, but also a promise fulfilled: she will now be the first in her family to attend college on a full scholarship.

"I got a full ride to Connecticut College so I will be attending there next fall. I want to study governments and Latino American studies in hopes of becoming an immigration attorney," she said.

Her career choice was inspired by her parents. Both are immigrants from Mexico and neither had an education past 3rd grade.

"My mom used to tell me that she used to go days without eating because they couldn't afford to spend another dollar on another piece of produce," Lopez said.

But today, there was nothing but pride from her parents.

"She has all my faith that she will do good," her father, Eloy Lopez, said.

"Tremendous leader. An inspiration, truly," her principal, Juan Carlos Ocon, said.

"When she has a goal, she makes sure she achieves that goal and she always goes above and beyond," said her friend, Andrea Caragoca.

So as the class of 2018 graduates from Benito Juarez Community Academy, there's a message from their class leader to them.

"I wish the class of 2018 the best, and I know that you guys are going to do extremely great things and that they're going to be an amazing cohort," Lopez said.

And also this heartfelt message to her parents.

"They raised me and my brother perfectly. They're just amazing parents and I wouldn't switch them with anyone else in the planet," she said.

Lopez also said she chose to attend her neighborhood school instead of a selective enrollment high school to stay closer to the community that helped raise her so that one day she can give back.
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