PeerForward Alumni carry the spirit of a Peer Leader long after their workshop. This week, our Alumni Spotlight is on Ma. Theresa E. Lopez. Known for her leadership skills and experience as a Peer Leader for Bladensburg High School, she’s now excelling in her role in the United States Army and inspiring other AAPI students with her success.
At PeerForward, we celebrate all postsecondary pathways. What’s most important is for our Peer Leaders to find a path that fits. From community college to joining the military, Ma. Theresa continues to find success in her journey after high school. After attending her PeerForward Workshop in 2018 at St. John’s University, she graduated as Valedictorian of Bladensburg High School. Following her graduation, she continued her education at Prince George’s Community College before joining the United States Army. Now as a nationally certified Pharmaceutical Specialist Ma. Theresa continues to inspire students following in her footsteps.
This AAPI Heritage Month, we wanted to take the time to celebrate our AAPI Alumni as they blaze new pathways to achieving postsecondary success. We caught up with Ma. Theresa to discuss her experience in the military thus far, how PeerForward prepared her for life after high school, and what AAPI Heritage Month means to her.
How did your time as a Peer Leader impact your postsecondary plans?
As a Peer Leader, it had enabled me to carry on the leadership skills and knowledge that I have attained during the workshops for my postsecondary plans.
How have you used your experience as a Peer Leader to excel in the army?
Though I joined the U.S. Army, I have not stopped informing my brothers and sisters in arms in regards to achieving their civilian education. Yes, the military have a diverse amount of opportunities, but taking advantage of the free education while serving is really fortunate too. I still carry the fire of PeerForward in me just like when I was still in high school.
What does AAPI Heritage Month mean to you?
AAPI Heritage Month means a lot to me. It brings awareness and highlights the achievements from the different cultures of Asian American and Pacific Islanders. I was born in the Philippines and having the opportunity to serve our country, being able to fight for freedom, and being able to stand out yet blend in with the rest just amazes me. I am fortunate enough to be part of an organization that does not discriminate.