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CHCI-Child Welfare Graduate Fellow

Hometown: Visalia, California
School: Marquette University
Degree: Master of International Affairs
Placement: The Office of Congressman Ritchie Torres

Uriel Lopez (they/him) was born and raised in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Uriel attended the University of California at Berkeley as a Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar. There, Uriel volunteered to increase underrepresented students through the Latinx Recruitment Center and the Chicanx/Latinx Student Development Office. Uriel founded the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program at UC Berkeley where students were trained to become certified tax preparers and prepare tax returns for low income individuals throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

Following undergrad, Uriel worked for the United Farm Workers Foundation on outreach to the Latinx community on increasing the number of naturalized citizens, awareness about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and providing resources on enrolling in affordable health care. There, Uriel worked with community based organizations, the Mexican Consulate, and Univision to increase awareness about different immigration relief programs. Uriel then pursued the Trinity Fellowship, which allowed them to earn a Master’s in International Affairs from Marquette University. In Milwaukee, Uriel worked on several projects related to community economic development and empowering small business owners. Additionally, Uriel worked at the International Institute of Wisconsin, a refugee resettlement agency in Milwaukee that supports the successful transition of refugees from various countries.

As the CHCI-Child Welfare Graduate Fellow, Uriel hopes to apply their lived experience to gain a deeper understanding of policies affecting vulnerable children and youth at the federal level. Through this graduate fellowship, Uriel will be able to become a more effective policy advocate for marginalized communities.