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May 2014 Junior Alumnus of the Month

CHCI Program: 2013 R2L NextGen

School: NFL YET Academy – ESPIRITU Schools

Grade: Senior

Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona

High school senior Adilenne Diaz embodies the American dream. Later this month, Adilenne will graduate from NFL YET Academy in Phoenix, Arizona as class Valedictorian with a long list of community and scholarship accolades.

Adilenne’s journey has not been without its challenges. After living for 13 years in her native Santiago Papasquiro, Durango, Mexico, Adilenne migrated with her family to Arizona in pursuit for better educational and economic opportunities. Although migrating as a teenager presented a challenge due to the language barrier, Adilenne was able to overcome this obstacle with the guidance of her ESL teachers and by pushing herself to work harder than her English-speaking peers. Her tenacious spirit demonstrates that being a first-generation American is not an insurmountable obstacle to being a successful student who will graduate at the top of her class.

Adilenne’s participation in R2L NextGen’s 2013 program motivated her to be engaged immediately rather than wait until she was older. “I came back into my community and applied what I learned in Washington, DC. My experience was life changing because it taught me that regardless of my age, I too can make a difference,” shared Adilenne. In her community, Adilenne wears multiple hats. She is engaged politically and has experience canvassing to support local officials, budget overrides with the school board and is currently serving as a volunteer coordinator in a State campaign. At school she is the President of her school sorority, Psi Phi Nu Sorority, is the Senior Class Representative and a part of the Student Board of Service.

Academically, Adilenne has been recognized for her commitment to excellence. She is the recipient of the Dorrance Merit Program Scholarship Award and the Arizona State University, New American University Scholar – Dean’s Award. Collectively, these scholarships will help her cover the full costs of tuition and housing at Arizona State University this fall, and will give her the opportunity to participate in summer enrichment programs such as traveling abroad and conducting research.

Adilenne’s ultimate goal is to attend medical school and eventually do research and advocate solutions to treat children with cancer. This fall she will be one step closer to realizing her dream. Adilenne will be entering Arizona State University as a sophomore and will be majoring in biological sciences and perhaps double majoring in political science. Her participation in the R2L NextGen program inspired the dual major.

CHCI is proud to have Adilenne Diaz as part of the CHCI Familia!