My name is Karoline Lopez. I was born in Manila, Philippines. For a couple years while my parents worked overseas, my two older brothers and I were raised by my grandmother. At the age of 6, my family and I migrated to the US. Since I was not very familiar with my surroundings at the time, I considered myself to be an introvert. It wasn’t until I attended my first day of school that I noticed so much diversity. I attended four different elementary institutions before going to Northeast High School in Philadelphia, PA. Throughout my whole experience, I was mostly intrigued by every person I encountered that had a different background as me. I have only met a few Filipino friends in high school, however, I still didn’t feel represented enough. With that in mind, this encouraged me to pursue a career in education, which can allow me to connect with future students from all over the world.
Starting middle school, my grandmother began to live with us, and I have been taking care of her ever since. As a teenager, I definitely overlooked the amount of responsibility I had. Now, as cliche as it sounds, I can’t thank her enough for enlightening me on the importance of helping others. As of today, my biggest accomplishment is being my grandmother’s caregiver. Not only has she taught me how to be responsible, she also taught me how to be selfless.
Throughout high school, I have had many interests. I was involved in band, sports, and the science fair. In both band and sports, I learned the value of teamwork. My involvement in the science fair helped me become more independent and vocal, which enhanced my interpersonal skills. However, as a hobby, I have learned the most through cooking. Cooking became a favorite hobby of mine as I quickly picked up on different kinds of cuisines, influenced by some of my friends’ and their culture. I enjoy learning from others and vice versa.
Though I cannot pinpoint the exact moment that sparked my interest in the field of education, I am certain that I can see myself in a position that promotes diversity and individuality, which is what the Social Action and Justice Education (SAJE) Fellowship strives to achieve. I strongly believe in empowering the youth, and there is no doubt that future generations from now will create historical impacts from small to bigger communities worldwide. As a part of a generation that is willing to influence positive change in society, a career in education will continue to promote this idea, which will further into endless possibilities. I am beyond excited for what’s in store for me, regardless of the circumstances. As my high school chapter unfortunately came to an end in a matter of time, I am hopeful that I can unravel a new chapter of my life as a SAJE Fellow through Arcadia.