DSF Staff Highlight: Stephanie López, MSW

Stephanie López, MSW, is no stranger to working for what she believes in. A Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) Alumna, Stephanie grew up attending various Denver Public Schools. From a young age her parents instilled in her the value of hard work. Now, all that work has led her to become the newest college success program manager at DSF.

Stephanie, second from right, with fellow DSF Alumni.

Although the journey was not always easy, she had help along the way. Her DSF Future Center Advisor at East High School, in particular, left an indelible mark. He offered guidance, support, and eventually helped her realize her dream of attending the University of Denver, where she earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees. All of this left quite a mark on Stephanie.

Stephanie’s tenure at DSF has included the launch and growth of the DSF Mentorship Program, connecting DSF Alumni and Scholars.

“I wanted to be my Future Center Advisor,” she says with a smile. “I wanted students to know someone is in their corner, like he was for me.”

She started her work at DSF as an executive assistant. Now entering her fifth year at DSF, she’s held several positions and continues to make an impact on students’ lives every day. As a first-generation college graduate, she knows just how much DSF has done to change not only the trajectory of her own life but the lives of those around her. She says that while her family “always encouraged me to do well in school, now, my conversations about education with my nieces and nephews are completely different.”

An important—and fulfilling—part of Stephanie’s role is celebrating Scholars’ achievements.

Asked what can make the job difficult, she doesn’t balk. “Sometimes it’s not easy to have the hard conversations with students. Sometimes you need to let them know the reward isn’t right away,” she says. But through it all, she remains steadfast in her conviction that your dreams come true when you work hard and have advocates to support you and navigate through barriers along the way. How does she know? She’s living proof.