Loyola Marymount University
One LMU Drive, UH 2400
Los Angeles, CA 90045-2659

Norma Romero


Project Director, UB & UBMS


As Director, Norma has the privilege of working with students to help them realize their academic and personal potential. Her vision is to provide outstanding and relevant services in an environment that fosters a sense of community that supports learning and personal growth for all participants – students and staff alike. The goal is always excellence.

Norma began her work at LMU in 2004 as the Director of Ethnic & Intercultural Services. She became the UB Project Director at its inception in 2007, and added oversight of UBMS in 2017. Prior to coming to LMU, Norma held several TRIO positions including Director of the Student Support Services Program at CSU San Bernardino for eleven years, Director of Upward Bound at the National Hispanic University in Oakland from 1989-1991, and Assistant Director of Upward Bound at Occidental College from 1985-1989. She holds a BA in Psychology, a Secondary Teaching Credential, a Master’s degree in Public Administration, and recently earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice at LMU.

Outside of work, her favorite things include spending time with family and friends - especially her two children - attending concerts, taking long “head-clearing” walks, pretending to garden, museum hopping, cooking, and finding treasures at flea markets and vintage shops.

Paola Pérez

Academic Advisor, UB _

Associate Project Director, UB & UBMS 


Paola Pérez is a proud daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her passion for promoting educational equity for future first-generation college students comes from her family’s value on education. Having two older siblings who went to college and parents who consistently told her to “echarle ganas en sus estudios,” Paola was fortunately supported throughout her educational journey. With their encouragement, she completed her Bachelor’s degree from UC San Diego and her Master’s in Educational Counseling from USC. Now, she wants to make sure that she can provide that support for other first-gen and low-income students and any student who needs someone to be their advisor, advocate, or listening ear.

Paola has worked in the field of education for 7 years as a tutor, facilitator, mentor, advisor and coach. Her commitment to Upward Bound began in 2014 when she worked as a tutor for a TRiO Summer Residential Program. More recently, she has worked as a Student Success Coach at different community colleges including Pasadena City College and East Los Angeles College. Her hope is to emphasize students’ strengths and empower them to recognize their resilience and ability to thrive.

During her free time, Paola enjoys eating mickey-shaped treats at Disneyland (and getting on a ride or two), going on runs, and spending quality time with her two adorable nephews.

Angelica Contreras

Academic Advisor, Upward Bound 


Angelica Contreras is an Academic Advisor with over 6 years of experience working with first-generation, low-income students like herself. Her parents instilled the importance of education as the path to success and with their encouragement and support, she graduated with her Bachelor’s degree from UCLA. Currently pursuing her Master's in Counseling at LMU. She knows the difficulties of having parents unfamiliar with the education system and having to navigate it on her own, so she hopes to make a difference in the lives of the students she supports in their educational career as a guide.

In her free time, Angie likes to go camping with friends exploring national parks, binge watch tv shows, and attend concerts, WNBA and Women’s soccer games!