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Alumni Success Stories


Thanks to your generosity,
scholarship recipients of
Friends of 440 Scholarship Fund
fullfill their dreams!

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If you are a former recipient of our scholarship, we'd love to hear from you.

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Javier Lopez, MD

Was awarded scholarships for four years beginning in 1997.

In 2001 he received a BA in microbiology and immunology from the University of Miami and in 2005 received an MD from Yale School of Medicine. He completed an internship in surgery and a residency in anesthesiology at Yale New Haven Hospital in 2009 and has since returned to South Florida where he is the Chief of Cardiothoracic Anesthesia at Kendall Regional Medical Center in Miami and also works at Aventura and Mercy Hospitals. He specializes in cardiothoracic, vascular, regional anesthesia and trauma.

He was eligible for the scholarship due to a work-related injury of his father. Dr. Lopez said, "All of my work and accolades could not have been achieved had the Friends of 440 Scholarship Fund not assisted early on in my studies. I am truly grateful for the assistance your organization has provided, and I look forward to working with 440 in the future."

Dr. Lopez is Co-Chair of the Alumni Committee.

"My parents are political refugees from Cuba who immigrated to the U.S. on the Mariel Boatlift in May of 1980 after a cousin of my father's had purchased a visa for our entire family. Having been teenagers when Castro's dictatorship began in 1959, they were immediately pulled from the Cuban educational system at a young age and jumped at the first opportunity to provide my sister and me with the dreams of freedom and education. Their first priority in the U.S. was to provide for my sister and myself, and as such they have been blue-collar workers all of their lives finding employment in any trade that they could put to good use.

My father was employed as a welder for a boat and yacht repair company along the Miami River when he sustained a work-related lumbar injury that left him incapacitated for several years, and he was then forced to seek other modes of employment. As the sole bread winner in our family, this placed a significant strain on our finances, not to mention the financial assistance both my sister and I needed to seek in order to attend college. The scholarships I received from the Friends of 440 Scholarship Fund were thus paramount in my education. My sister, who is nine years my elder, is now the principal at Good Shepard Catholic School in West Miami Dade, after having served as assistant principal and an educator at St. Brendan Catholic School for many years. I can comfortably say that all of my parents' sacrifices in leaving everything they ever knew in order for us to have a better life did truly pay off. I could never fully repay all of those who have helped us along the way, most importantly the Friends of 440." 

– Javier, Lopez, MD

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