Faculty & Staff

Karen Lopez

Student Services Associate


University of Illinois at Chicago, BA, English with Minor in Spanish


Karen is a passionate advocate for youth development, often immersing herself in the non-profit world that provides youth with quality after-school programming. Her interests range from rowing to clarinet to reading and writing. You can often see her performing with her Alma Mater, the UIC Symphonic Band. In her spare time she likes to volunteer as a coach for her old rowing team, Chicago Training Center. Her favorite book genres include (but are not limited to): Young Adult Fiction, Biography/Autobiography, Historical Fiction, and Magical Realism.


Hayley Williams

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“Merit is a place that I wish I had known about when I was young and trying to learn music. They provide a lot of opportunities for youth to immerse themselves in music in a great and affordable way.”