My Why - Abigail Lopez, Teacher's Assistant

April 4, 2024

Topic: My Why

Sometimes fate has a way of guiding you towards the next steps of your life. After being employed in a variety of jobs, including supporting autistic children at Clearbrook home-based services, working at Starbucks, and teaching kids how to swim, Abigail Lopez landed a job at Twain Elementary School as a student supervisor, supporting teachers in third, fourth and fifth grade classes. It was during the pandemic and Lopez led Zoom break-out rooms to help students read, which was very satisfying and new to her. 

Then Dr. Alyssa Shapiro, principal of Twain, asked Lopez to work one-on-one as a teacher’s assistant with a kindergarten student named Daniela, a relationship that cemented Lopez’s future. You see, Daniela is a blind student who only spoke Spanish and needed extra guidance and instruction. Lopez helped by adapting materials for Daniela, taught her English and helped her gain confidence and independence. In return, Lopez learned Braille, sharpened her Spanish skills and was brought back to her Hispanic culture through interactions with Daniela. The relationship was one of learning from each other. Lopez helped Daniela migrate into a general education class, while Daniela sparked Lopez’s desire to continue her education and work towards a teaching degree. “I feel like teaching is my calling,” said Lopez. “I helped Daniela and she has also helped me,” she added. 

Lopez is currently earning her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education at National Louis University. “My goal is to continue on and earn my master’s degree in orientation and mobility, which assists people who are blind or visually impaired develop skills for independence and safe travel,” she states. 

Aside from school work – which takes up a lot of her time – Lopez is a newlywed, a foodie, a traveler, a dancer, artist and coffee lover. She also likes to spend quality time with her family and be outdoors. 

“I feel blessed to have landed in this career. I learned a lot from working with a variety of students, especially Daniela and believe fate intervened,” said Lopez. No doubt fate intervened for both of them.