PresenterPhotoMarcela Lopez currently serves as the Director of Family and Community Programs at Arizona State University.

Marcela was born in Mexico and came to the US when she was three years old. Marcela experienced firsthand the challenges faced being a 1st generation student. Determined to make a difference, she pursued a Master's degree in Educational Leadership.

After graduating, Marcela joined Arizona State University leading family programs that focused on serving underserved communities. Recognizing the importance of family engagement in breaking the cycle of poverty, she dedicated her efforts to implementing programs that empowered parents to become active participants in their children's education. 

Marcela's innovative ideas and passion for community building has offered various leadership roles. In these positions, she spearheaded various initiatives aimed at strengthening the bonds between families and schools, such as parent workshops, support groups, and advocacy campaigns. 

Throughout her 16 years, Marcela has worked tirelessly to bridge the gap between families and service providers. Her ability to empower families, build trust, and foster a sense of belonging has earned her the respect and admiration of her colleagues and the community at large.