Thrive Scholars: Where Are They Now? Melissa Lopez
Thrive Scholars is a national nonprofit providing high-achieving, low-income students of color with the opportunities they need to thrive at top colleges and in meaningful careers. Boston Private has supported Thrive Scholars, previously SCS Noonan Scholars, for a number of years. Aside from financial sponsorship, Boston Private employees have volunteered to mentor Thrive scholars, offering guidance and support to students as they navigate their college experience and early career milestones.
Over the years, scholars mentored by Boston Private employees have gone on to great achievements. We thought it would be fun to check in with our mentees, learn about their journeys and find out what they’re doing today.
We caught up with Melissa Lopez, who was mentored by Boston Private Portfolio Advisor Tucker Hamlin. Since 2018, Tucker has helped Melissa navigate her college experience, providing guidance related to her education and career development. Melissa is currently studying environmental science at Brown University, with an interest in improving sustainability in cities.
“Melissa is extremely intelligent and passionate about her work. I have been especially impressed with how she has navigated going to college across the entire country from her hometown and family,” said Tucker. “It’s been rewarding to work with her as she navigates her academic career and I’m confident she will go on to make great contributions to her field. I look forward to seeing all that she accomplishes.”
Tell us a little about yourself – your background and what makes you unique.
I grew up in Los Angeles and I am a first-generation college student studying environmental science. Growing up, I thought a lot about how cities could serve people better. As a college student, I have done field research, geographic information system (GIS) related work, and used the open curriculum at Brown University to take a wide range of classes that are connected to sustainability and urban centers.
How has being part of the SCS Noonan/Thrive Scholars program influenced your life?
Being part of the Thrive Scholars Program has allowed to me receive support from valuable mentors like Tucker. The program alone offers lots of workshops for interviews plus the 1:1 attention from Tucker has been crucial in getting career and interview advice.
What’s the best advice your mentor provided you?
My mentor has helped me navigate different interests and he emphasized how there isn't a wrong answer when it comes to choosing different paths as long as I am solidifying my interests.
What are your dreams for the future and what’s in store for you for the next three to five years?
I am not entirely sure, but I do want to do work in environmental analysis, specifically in environmental planning or sustainable design. I think grad school is a possible path, but I do want to get some hands-on experience first.
My favorite part of the day is...
My favorite part of the day is the morning because I get to set my short-term goals.