Guillermo “Willie” Lopez, a nationally known motivational speaker, delivers an unforgettable presentation. He provocatively guides both student and parent audiences through the various twists and turns of his life that eventually culminate with triumph and a message of HOPE.
Like most other immigrants, Lopez came to El Norte as a child with his parents hoping for a better way of life. Instead, he spent most of his childhood hiding from La Migra. He was constantly barraged by a harsh reality of farm labor injustice, gangs, drugs and discrimination. Surrounded by these adversities, Lopez fell victim to the clutches of the barrio’s dark side, which interfered with his aspirations of becoming a physician. He eventually escaped that life.
Never giving up hope of becoming educated, one of the central themes of his message, Lopez entered the medical field, a life long dream that led him to become a Communicable Disease Specialist. He developed an expertise in HIV/AIDS and was one of only twelve trainers on HIV/AIDS for the State Office of AIDS in California. On August 5, 2002, he was bestowed an honorary Doctorate of Medicine Degree from La Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Mexico for his years of extensive service and knowledge in the field of HIV/AIDS.
Lopez is especially skilled in reaching out to parents of all backgrounds. Having been a migrant farm worker and fluent in Spanish, Lopez connects intimately with a Spanish-speaking audience and all parents of similar humble origins. Themes of HOPE and making good CHOICES are weaved throughout his presentation, subtly at times, starkly at others. Possessing professional expertise in areas of drugs, alcohol, gangs and other social challenges, and as a facilitator for training workshops and seminars, Lopez provides many methods and techniques in affective parenting skills.
- Excerpt from presentation to High School students (16 minutes)
- Excerpt from “Zapatitos” presentation for High School and younger ages (2 minutes)
Topics he can address in a Choices presentation include:
GANG PREVENTION – CONFLICT RESOLUTION – DRUG & ALCOHOL ISSUES – PARENT/CHILD COMMUNICATIONS