Many parents dream of the day when their child graduates from college. Lisa Lopez will not only get to witness her daughter, Victoria Lopez, walk across the commencement stage but the proud mom will be right there beside Victoria when both of their names are called.
It wasn't easy.
The family faced two major obstacles en route to earning their degrees: the pandemic and a health scare. In 2019, Lisa withdrew from UH for a semester to care for her son, Jeremy, also a UH student, who suffered internal bleeding in his lungs. He underwent a successful liver transplant last year.
“My brother received a new liver during COVID, and it was very hard because we couldn’t be at the hospital with him,” Victoria shared. “My father is also a transplant recipient, so we are still in quarantine to keep them both safe and healthy.”
Through caring for loved ones, working full time jobs and managing their coursework, the Lopez women have stayed on track and in lockstep with their goal of turning their tassels to the left … together.
After graduation, Lisa will continue her work as an instructional designer at CenterPoint Energy and plans to return to UH in the fall to get a master’s degree in HR development. She eventually wants to be a professor.
“Getting to this point was 30 years in the making.”
That’s right, mother and daughter are graduating together on Friday, Dec. 17. Lisa, who earned a Bachelor of Science in human resources development, will serve as a banner bearer leading the processional for the College of Technology. Victoria, a pre-med student, will receive her Bachelor of Science in biotechnology.
“Getting to this point was 30 years in the making,” said the elder Lopez, who had gone to school off and on over the years, but life got in the way of her completing a degree. “Victoria eventually caught up to me and said, ‘Let’s graduate together.’ We did everything we could to figure out how to make that happen.”
As for Victoria, she is putting her dreams of being a doctor on a brief hold because she and her husband are expecting a baby this summer. She hopes to be back in class in Fall 2023 to pursue a graduate degree before entering medical school.