David's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Why Not Us

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    San Diego, CA

DAVID LOPEZ

Executive Director
Teach For America

“Once you establish a belief in something that you really, really think is important, you stick to it. Because if you're not believing, others aren't going to follow your footsteps.”

INTERESTS:

Education Non-Profit Organizations

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Community Dedication Education Family Fulfillment Hard Work Pressure Beliefs & Faith Perseverance Success Choices Transitions Doubt Confidence Planning Failure Negativity Societal Pressures Experience Self-Reflection

FOUNDATION:

Helping People

TAGS:

adversity, belief, challenge, chance, charter school, college degree, English as a second language, guilt, human potential, income, internships, leadership, marketing, pay-it-forward, responsibility, risk, social change, statistics, Teach for America, teachers

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Son of two Mexican immigrants and had trouble learning English.
  • Almost dropped out of his public middle school after failing seventh and eighth grade.
  • Instead, transferred to a charter school, where he found new mentors, a new love for learning.
  • Found financial success in sales and marketing, but says those gains felt "hollow."
  • Returned to school to earn his Bachelor's degree from UCSD with the goal of transitioning into nonprofit work.
  • Joined Teach For America after realizing he was in the minority of low-income students who graduate college-wanted to give back.
  • Started his branch of the nonprofit in the hopes of giving everyone in San Diego access to a good education.

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