Project Specialist, Spanish Editor
Information, Support and Education
Maria-Jose Lopez is a graduate of Boston College, where she majored in sociology and minored in medical humanities in health & culture. Growing up in the Dominican Republic, she volunteered at local hospitals and schools and developed an interest in global health and improving people’s ability to receive proper medical care.
Maria-Jose is passionate about removing social stigmas surrounding mental health, particularly for the Latino community. She now helps coordinate data and systems support for the Information, Support & Education team and hopes to one day take this knowledge back to the Dominican Republic and create mental health support systems for those in need.
What do you wish more people knew about NAMI?
I wish more people knew that NAMI wants to help people with mental health conditions through all stages of life. We don’t just want to focus on individuals who have been living with a mental health condition for a long time. It’s important to us to also work with the younger generations and teach them from the start the importance of feeling empowered and having their voices heard.
Who inspires you?
My grandmother is probably the person who inspires me the most. She moved to the U.S. to escape a dictatorship in the Dominican Republic; she didn’t know how to speak English or have any idea of the cultural differences that awaited her. Nevertheless, she has worked incredibly hard her entire life to make sure her children have a strong educational background and limitless possibilities. To this day, she is the rock of our family.