LONG BEACH, Calif. — Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) has appointed Orange County resident Dr. April Lopez as the newest member of its Board of Directors.
Lopez, of Yorba Linda, is an Orange County-based Doctor of Chiropractic. Since 2001, she has owned and continues to operate a successful practice in the City of Orange near Angel Stadium. She is married to an Orange County Sheriff’s Department Investigator and is the mother of three elementary school-aged children. Her oldest is Isabella Dominguez, 15, a thriving, beautiful young girl born with Down syndrome and autism who attends public school in the city of Yorba Linda. Isabella is a Special Olympics athlete and is the source of energy and inspiration behind Dr. Lopez’s commitment to support, promote and advance a greater understanding of Special Olympics and people with intellectual disabilities in the Orange County community.
“Special Olympics Southern California is an extraordinary organization that I’m so very proud and blessed to serve,” said Lopez. “They offer sports, health, and leadership programs for tens of thousands of Orange County and Southern California residents with intellectual disabilities, and I look forward to helping them reach even more athletes and families like mine.”
In February 2012, Lopez was appointed by Governor Brown as a family advocate representative to the State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD). The SCDD was established to ensure that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families participate in the planning, design, and receipt of the services and supports they need, which promote increased independence, productivity, inclusion, and self-determination. In 2014, she was elected to the SCDD’s executive board and currently serves as the SCDD Chairperson. She holds leadership positions on its Legislative and Public Policy Committee, Executive Committee, Membership Committee, and Monitoring and Technical Assistance Review System (MTARS) Committee. She serves with the State Treasurers’ office on the Achieving a Better Life Experience for People with Disabilities (CalABLE) board of directors. CalABLE allows qualified individuals with disabilities and their families to open tax-free savings accounts without the worry of losing vital government assistance. She was recently elected to serve as the chairperson of the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) of the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District (PYLUSD). In 2016, Dr. Lopez was appointed and currently serves on the RCOC Self-Determination Program Local Advisory Committee, which provides Orange County consumers and their families with more freedom, control, and responsibility in choosing services and supports to help them meet objectives in their Individual Program Plan.
In 2017, Dr. Lopez was selected as a “Woman of the Year” for California’s 29th Senate District and was honored for her achievements in the Health category by Sen. Josh Newman. In her spare time, she runs marathons, coaches her daughter’s NJB basketball team where she is known as “Coach April,” attends Angels baseball games as an avid fan, and enjoys spending quality time with her family.
About Special Olympics Southern California:
Special Olympics Southern California enriches the lives of more than 32,250 athletes with intellectual disabilities and their communities through sports, leadership, and health programs. Founded in 1969 by Olympic decathlon gold medalist Rafer Johnson, Special Olympics Southern California provides free year-round sports training and competitions to children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Participation develops improved physical fitness and motor skills and greater self-confidence. Special Olympics has become the world’s largest movement dedicated to promoting respect, acceptance, inclusion, and human dignity for people with intellectual disabilities. Using sports as the catalyst and programming around health and education, Special Olympics is fighting inactivity, injustice and intolerance. As a result, people with intellectual disabilities become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all. Special Olympics Southern California has earned a 4-star ranking from Charity Navigator for exceeding industry standards. This ranking is the highest Charity Navigator offers to an organization and is given because Special Olympics has demonstrated strong financial health and a commitment to accountability and transparency. Learn how you can get involved at www.sosc.org.