Student Stories: Katelynn Lopez

Katelynn's Journey: Per Aspera Ad Astra (Hardship to The Stars)


Katelynn Katelynn's story is one of remarkable resilience and transformation. Before enrolling at L.A. Technology Center (LATC), her life was marked by significant challenges. Growing up in an abusive and neglectful environment, Katelynn was often told she would never achieve anything noteworthy. However, her life took a positive turn when she moved in with her father at 17. Recognizing the need for a change, her father enrolled her in LATC, marking the beginning of Katelynn's new chapter.


With only ten credits to her name initially, Katelynn embarked on an intensive journey at LATC, completing her high school diploma in about six months through classes like English, Algebra, and History, and passing the HISET. Her academic achievements at LATC were just the beginning.


Katelynn's passion for learning propelled her into the field of physics, leading her to Cal State Dominguez Hills as a general physics student. Her time in community college was enriched with involvement in prestigious programs like NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars and research opportunities that spanned from sonic booms to STEM conferences.


Currently, Katelynn is exploring the practical applications of her studies as a software engineer intern at Northrop Grumman's Space Systems. Her future is bright, with plans to marry her fiancé this September and transition to a full-time engineering role post-graduation. Beyond her immediate professional goals, Katelynn is eager to pursue a Master’s degree in Systems Engineering.


Katelynn’s advice to others facing their own hurdles is powerful and poignant: "Borrowing from JFK, I choose this path not because it’s easy, but because it is hard. It takes the best of my energy and skills to accomplish. This is a challenge that I am more than willing to accept. Most importantly, I choose to not let my past define my future."


At this stage in her journey, Katelynn is most proud of her spiritual growth and the opportunity to serve God, whom she places at the center of all her endeavors. "Through hard work and determination, not even the sky's the limit to what you can achieve," she reflects.


Katelynn’s story is a testament to the power of perseverance and the transformative impact of education. At LATC, we celebrate her achievements and the bright future ahead of her. We are inspired by her journey and hope it encourages others to pursue their dreams, regardless of the obstacles they face.