A watered-down life story...

I grew up in a struggling Hispanic family in 1990’s America. Since then, I’ve made a comeback for myself but I haven’t forgotten the value of adversity and the opportunity to learn from hard times. My parents had to work too much and too hard but we always had family dinner together. Since then, I’ve realized the importance of gratitude and strong relationships. I was lucky enough to grow up in Austin, Texas. Since then, I’ve always valued diversity, creativity, and the natural environment. As a kid, I had Nicktoons and Microsoft Paint. Since then, I’ve always loved illustration and graphics. I got my first job at 15 selling books in a mall. Since then, I’ve learned the advantages of literacy and the value of working at a young age. Mrs. Shannon marked up every paper I turned in and encouraged me to become class president. Since then, I’ve become a writing wizard and developed my public voice. I remember the floppy disk and matured with the dot-com boom. Since then, I’ve learned the importance of human-to-human connections and the value of offline time. I became the first in my family to go to college. Since then, I instantly became more than statistics said I would. After I turned my love for visual design into a degree, I took a chance and became Mr. Lopez. Since then, I’ve been convinced that our education system is our biggest challenge and opportunity. I worked in a violent neighborhood but taught the most wonderful kids on the South Side of Chicago for a few years. Since then, I’ve worked to challenge the legacies of prejudice, oppression, and inequity. I decided to complement my first Master's degree with a second from Parsons so I could design on behalf of social good. Since then, I’ve realized life is self-directed and doors open because of our talent, curiosity, and passion. And where there are no doors, you can design one. Since then, I’ve been working on it.