Aliza Lopez is a 17-year-old healthcare advocate, mental health activist, and researcher. With many multidisciplinary interests in this field, she intersects her work with education and cultural competence. Aliza currently directs the 501(c)(3) organization, Medicine Encompassed — fostering a space that combines STEAM and health literacy to push out experiential learning platforms. Within her nonprofit, she is also a founder of The Astrocyte Initiative, a mental health project focused on increasing accessibility to resources and toolkits for student groups. She also works at the company Neolth as the Outreach Subcommittee Leader of their national ambassador program — arranging educational mental health presentations and wellness workshops for different institutions. Aliza has collaborated with Hopelab in California to launch a research study, analyzing how sociocultural factors impact minority groups’ accessibility to mental health services. She pairs her hands-on work with her authorship on research publications, including one with a Dartmouth College laboratory about SSRI usage in patients. Additionally, Aliza is a member of IDONTMIND’s “Our Future in Mind” community and YOUNGA’s network as a previous Mental Health Working Group Leader.
For her leadership efforts, she was named the 2021 T-Mobile Changemaker Challenge Grand Prize Winner in Education, TD Bank and National Liberty Museum Young Hero, 2022 Taco Bell Ambition Accelerator Quarterfinalist, and a Youth Program Honoree in the New Jersey Governor's Jefferson Awards program.
Aliza believes that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are valuable in any workspace; everyone deserves a seat at the table to ensure representation, productivity, and innovations that engage the population. Her work is a stepping stone towards democratizing quality mental healthcare services and literacy for all populations and areas.