Cesar Arturo Lopez | Pazlo Education Foundation | Founder/Executive Director, APEX Academy

Mr. Lopez has been a leader and advocate for vulnerable student populations for almost two decades in Pacoima, North Hollywood, East Los Angeles, and Hollywood.

Cesar Arturo Lopez has for the last 17 years worked with working-class and underrepresented families in the Los Angeles area to have greater opportunities and access to college. Serving at every level in education, as a teacher, coach, principal, director, and founder of a charter school, has exposed him to the many obstacles faced by families in poverty, and at-risk students in their pursuit of secondary and higher education opportunities. In his various capacities, he has partnered with educational reform organizations such as The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Annenberg Foundation, Diploma Plus Inc., Johns Hopkins University Talent Development, and many others to implement innovative approaches and practices in schools.

His experiences have solidified his belief that it does take an entire village to bring up a child to be a positive contributing member of society. He believes that while schools can provide a base for positive change in a community, it is strong partnerships with families, community organizations, hospitals, city groups, and any other group willing to positively influence the life of a child that will ultimately take all children into adulthood prepared, and ready to make society stronger and better.

As someone who arrived to the US at the age of 14, he experienced the struggles of growing up in a low-income, single mother, migrant family, along with the educational struggles of learning English as a teenager and going on to college. He attended and graduated from UCLA both as an undergraduate and graduate student, completing a Master’s Degree and California Administrative Services Credential. Additionally, he completed his California Teaching Credential from California State University, Northridge (CSUN). Ongoing learning and growth includes participating in the CSU Dominguez Hills’ Innovative Schools Leaders Initiative (ISLI), through which many resources and professional development opportunities are brought into the school.