Death of friend motivates Lopez to pursue nursing

by RILEY GOLDEN//Editorial Assistant

The loss of his bestfriend has solidified a career choice for Zavier Lopez.

Zavier Elijah Lopez has had an interesting life, from being raised on the east and north sides of Lubbock, to riding motocross, to majoring in Pre-Nursing at South Plains College.

Lopez attended school in the Frenship Independent School District for most of his childhood. Having grown up in so many different cultures, he has seen it all. According to Lopez, the north and east sides of Lubbock are more of a family-oriented culture, compared to the west side of town.

Lopez did most of his growing up as an only child, until his brother was born during his sophomore year of high school.

“I was an only child for 15 years… He was planned and I was the accident,” Lopez said with a laughed.

Student feature
Zavier Lopez strives for success in his pursuit of a career in nursing. RILEY GOLDEN/PLAINSMAN PRESS

Although he didn’t participate in many extra-curricular activities in school, he did compete in motocross, although it’s more of a hobby for him now.

“I started out on a little 50 CC (cubic centimeters),” Lopez recalls. “It went about 10 to 15 miles an hour. As I got older, I moved up to 85 CCs, which went about 35 to 40 miles an hour. Now I ride a 450 CC, which probably guns about 90 miles an hour. As far as brands go, I’ve had a Kawasaki and a Suzuki, but now I ride Yamaha and Honda.”

In addition to motocross, Lopez has played baseball for most of his life.

“I’m in the process of trying to transfer to Frank Phillips to go play baseball,” said Lopez. “If that works out, it’ll be pretty dope. But there’s still a process.”

Lopez will be going to Borger, Texas, to attend summer tryouts at Frank Phillips College. If that doesn’t pan out, he plans on possibly going to Texas Tech University in the fall.

Lopez also just got engaged. His fiancé is Kirsten Garza, and they have been together for four years.

“We met on Facebook through a mutual friend, and we just hit it off,” Lopez said. “Then it just turned into something more.”

They do not have a wedding date yet, because they had one set and Lopez says he felt like something was just hanging over him and it constantly stressed him out.

Although the engagement is a happy event, it is shadowed by the recent loss of Lopez’s best friend.

“Jonathan Mayorga was 23 years old when he passed away just last month from testicular cancer,” Lopez said. “He was a couple years older than me, but I met him in elementary school when I was 8 or 9. I guess it changed everything, because you never think that it’s going to happen to you. I think that’s why nursing is calling my name, because cancer is a big deal and no one ever thinks it’s going to happen to them.”

Mayorga was fairly healthy, according to Lopez, right up until his passing.

Lopez said that helping people is his passion and makes him feel good about himself. Two things that Lopez has taken from his life is to help people as you can and to think about your future.

“Don’t take life for granted,” said Lopez. “Appreciate things around you and the people around you. Just be you, and live the life you want to live.”

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