Pictured: Ali Lopez shows off her medal from state alongside WAMS History Fair Coordinator Ramiro Pena. Photo by MAURICIO JULIAN CUELLAR JR.

Also received the Maccullum History Award

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

William Adams Middle School made a strong showing at the State History Fair last weekend in Austin.

This year's theme was Tragedy and Triumph.

Ali Lopez, an eighth-grade student, won third place in the competition for her project, "Knocking Down Doors: The Marion Luna Brem Story."

Lopez was also the sole recipient of the Jane Macullum Women in Texas History Award for her project.

Brem, the founder of Love Chrysler, faced overwhelming adversity in her life. She faced adversity at home, going through a divorce, and at the same time struggled to find work, and care for herself and her children through her battle with cancer, Lopez said.

"Her story was very inspiring. She faced so many difficulties. Eventually, she started work as a sales person, and worked her way up in a dealership and started Love Chrysler," Lopez said.

As part of her project and presentation, Lopez had to create a set and make her own costume, to accurately portray Brem to the judges. Lopez saw a lot in Brem's drive to success that she would like to emulate in the future.

"I'd really like to start my own business someday. I like marketing a lot, and also fashion," Lopez said. "I knew that I was going to do well on this project, but I never really expected to make it this far. Her story really inspired me. She faced a lot of adversity, she pursued her goals and knew what she wanted and went for it."

Lopez said that among girls her age, there is a voice in the back of their heads that sometimes says, "you're a girl, you can't do that." But Lopez never lets that voice stop her from achieving her goals.

"As a woman, so many people may think I'm inferior, but I know that I can do pretty much anything," Lopez said.