Caldwell Neighborhood Scholar Spotlight: Nicholas Lopez

Greetings! My name is Nicholas Lopez, and I am currently a junior majoring in Psychology and plan to minor in Foundations of Data Science.

I selected Psychology as my major near the end of my Freshman year after realizing that I was unsure if I wanted to pursue Computer Science (Games) in the future. After taking Introduction to Psychology as a GE course, I became highly interested in this field as I was fascinated by how human behavior can be shaped by multiple factors. With regards to my interest in studying Data Science, I developed this interest after spending some of my free time taking online courses on LinkedIn Learning that talked about the fundamentals of Data Science and using R and Python for data analysis.

The Russell Caldwell Scholarship has impacted my studies at USC greatly as the scholarship not only helped me to afford my expenses for school, such as books and technology for my classes but it also connected me to other like-minded scholars and staff members who have helped me to pursue my academic and career goals. Thanks to this, I grew to value personal development, success, and helping other people to become successful. 

Currently, I plan to go to graduate school to study Higher Education and aspire to be an educational counselor and help many students pursue their interests and goals. In preparation for this goal, I am currently getting ready to serve as an advising intern at the USC Dornsife Office of Advising through the Gateway Internship Program at USC during the Summer of 2021. Along with this, I plan to seek out more experiences in the education field through tutoring other students before graduation to gain more hands-on experience working with students. Additionally, before applying to graduate school, I plan to apply to the College Advising Corps and work as a College Advisor after graduating from USC. 

Some of the organizations I am involved with at USC are Shepherds Club, which is a Christian club that offers one-to-one and group Bible Studies to college students, and the National Society of Leadership and Success. Additionally, I am currently serving as a student mentor in the USC First-Generation mentor program for two students, helping them to manage their course load and advise them as to how they can pursue their individual goals such as getting an internship and getting involved with extracurricular activities. 

Before the pandemic, I was a part of USC’s Share A Meal, as a volunteer along with other students passing out meals to homeless people around Downtown Los Angeles. I also served as a mentor for an undocumented high school senior through the USC I AM Mentor Program, where I proofread his responses for his college applications, guided him through the financial aid process, and shared my personal experiences as a college student with him. 

During the COVID quarantine, I developed a strong interest to create a comic book just for fun based on a cartoon character I came up with back in high school. This is a special hobby for me because even though I’m not an artist, this is still a fun activity for me to engage in and helps me to relax or take a break from my responsibilities in school during this stressful time.