Art Credit: Karina Takayama / M-A Chronicle
Katie Maravilla and Nancy Lopez Rivera, the first Latina senior class presidents in M-A history, are welcome faces of diversity for the upcoming school year. In a school of 41% Latinx students, both celebrate the opportunity to represent the largest majority on campus.
Their fellow candidates were majority Caucasian running mates. Maravilla and Lopez ran with the slogan: “Women who stand for diversity.”
On representing M-A’s Latinx population during the campaign and now, after winning, Maravilla noted, “It’s an honor because we are here to represent those who don’t feel like they have a voice here at this school, especially Latinx students.”
Lopez spoke through her translator, agreeing, “You know, I’m a deaf person going to a hearing school and one of the only deaf students here. It’s so exciting to be able to represent diversity.”
Both Maravilla and Lopez are dedicated members of leadership and ran for class presidents to be more active in the school community. Lopez transferred to M-A in her sophomore year and joined leadership because she “just wanted to get more involved with activities or at school.”
Lopez unsuccessfully ran for junior class president last year but thought it was “a good experience” and knew she wanted to run again. “It’s a good experience to kind of show people that even though I’m deaf, doesn’t mean that I can’t do the same things everybody else can,” she continued.
The pair plan to institute new events and communication methods in efforts of increasing unity between students of different grades and ethnic backgrounds.
Maravilla mentioned potentially starting intramural soccer games at lunch as well as hosting a monthly open forum in the PAC for students and staff to talk about necessary changes and express their feelings. “It’s our opportunity to really include everyone and have a chance to hear from others than just those who always get heard,” she said.
As presidents, Maravilla and Lopez are leaders and role models for the senior class and the school as a whole. On their new roles, Lopez said, “To me, the position of a role model is to empower others so that other people feel like they have the power to express themselves and their opinions.”
Their sentiments are currently echoed in government, as politicians push to diversify and elect more women and women of color to positions of power. Currently, women of color make up 8.8% of Congress.
Maravilla and Lopez may be the last class presidents for a while, as leadership director, Michael Amoroso plans to shut down elections until further notice.
“We are all important here, but we need to work together as a team to make sure that we can make a difference,” finished Lopez.