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Paulina Lopez


Bold Points






West Point High School

High School
2021 - 2024


  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Majors of interest:

    • Animal Sciences
    • Veterinary Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
    • Agricultural/Animal/Plant/Veterinary Science and Related Fields, Other
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:


    • Dream career goals:

      Public services

      • Volunteering

        2022 – 2022
      PRIDE in Education Award
      Growing up with immigrant parents, there were always high expectations in place. From an early age I was very reserved, mostly keeping quiet in school, but it was never questioned, since I would often do well. I always had a deep passion for animals, I doubt I will ever be able to see myself without a furry campaign next to me. Having stayed in Mexico where there are many stray dogs, I once came along a stray who seemed to have been caught in a hole in a wire fence. People who walk by it without paying much mind to it. I simply wouldn't be able to forgive myself if I had left it there, no matter if I got in trouble for running off. After getting near I could see the wire was cutting into the dog's neck. Eventually I did manage to bend the wire just enough for the dog to free itself and, unfortunately ran away before it could be given proper help. Whenever the opportunity showed itself, I always found myself drawn to the path that led me to animals. Early on, I knew nothing other than a veterinarian was not in store for me, although one thing started to show itself that may cause fractures in what seemed my perfect reality. Starting early on as a young girl trying to figure out my identity. I would constantly hear negative comments from my family about the LGBTQ community. I am always on the fence about expressing who i really am or disappointing my family after spending so many years creating the perfect daughter image they now have of me. It has become harder for me to express myself and chose to stay closeted, except for a few close friends. In a world where people will attack others for how they dress and ultimately who they are intimate with, knowing that there is a community that is growing quickly who are not afraid to express themselves and are proud of who they are. It has given me reassurance that maybe one day I will be able to truly be myself and face my family by showing them who I truly am underneath their perfect image of me. For now, striving to gain the confidence to be myself and achieve my academic dreams is one of the few things I hope to see happen, not just for me but for all of those who are held back by the fear of being seen and treated differently.
      Marian Haley Memorial Scholarship
      When one hears education, you think about teachers and school, but when I think about education, I imagine all the knowledge available in the world that many people underestimate. A tool that is not simply schooling one gets but knowledge, experiences, influences and your life lessons. Knowledge is powerful, simple as that. It is one of the few things that can never be taken away from you, although while it is very well yours from the moment you grasp it, it should also be shared with those around you. Education is what leads me to have the motivation to achieve my dreams and goals in life. Education gives me a chance to make my loved ones proud. Growing up as a first-generation student, I was taught that education was one of the most important things in life. Ever since I was little, I have been encouraged to explore, ask questions and not be afraid to figure out things I was curious about. I was always very observant of my surroundings, loved reading because it allowed me to explore new things outside of my home and I was very set on learning new things. Furthermore, I have been as far as learning my father’s trade in upholstery since I was 6 years old. I enjoyed helping him upholster furniture and I learned to be good with my hands. Being raised by immigrant parents who did not have the same educational opportunities as me, I took every opportunity that came my way to build my way up to where I know I can and will make it in life. Education is a privilege many take for granted. With everything I have experienced, I will continue to grow and work towards my desires as a veterinarian. I wish to take everything I have been taught and make my best effort towards achieving this goal. Not only am I working towards becoming a veterinarian, but I also hope to be able to share what I have learned with those around me. Every mistake, every hardship, every single time I have felt like giving up but never gave up, I have learned something that stays with me forever, and it is not something that I should keep to myself but share with those around me. Even if it is something as simple as a helpful insight on a small issue, every little contribution will have an impact, whether it is positive or negative. I am still giving others something to think about and learn from. Being able to influence someone’s life with the knowledge I gained will always be something worth seeing. Even though education is very important, it is not something that should be used without taking feelings and emotions into consideration. No one knows everything, and no one should be afraid of asking for help but when we all have something left to learn. Education is not limited to a classroom, nor should it be expected to stay there. When you stop learning, you stop growing. As of right now, I am striving for a bachelor's, but soon after, I hope to achieve a doctorate degree in veterinary medicine. I know there will be many struggles in the long run, some of which I will not be able to face by myself, but the lessons I gain will be much more valuable. I will continue getting stronger and growing, and I am not planning on stopping any time soon.