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Friday, March 24, 2017

Local Graduate Sees Bright Future with ASU, New Heights Scholarship

 

Diana Figueroa, a South Mountain local and recent graduate of the NFL Youth Education Town College Prep Academy is on her way to Arizona State University in the fall, entering college with an academic scholarship and also some financial help from her employer.

 

Figueroa, who works for Re/Max New Heights Realty on Central Avenue, plans to study architecture at ASU and was recently awarded an additional $1,000 scholarship by New Heights owner Victor Vidales to help offset costs as she begins her college career. The scholarship is the first of a new, annual partnership forged between New Heights and the school. Each year the real estate agency will award a student from NFL YET, a $1,000 scholarship to attend a university. Vidales previously served as principal of NFL YET.

 

“She’s a phenomenal woman who has stepped up and gone beyond what’s been given to her,” said Vidales of Figueroa.  “She’s come right in, taken on her role and done a good job at it.”

 

Vidales said that although she has a full scholarship to ASU, many other expenses are incurred that the ASU money won’t cover.

 

Overcoming obstacles that often derail other teens, Figueroa excelled at the NFL YET Academy. After her parents divorced at a young age, Figueroa’s mother eventually abandoned her and her two younger brothers, resulting in the three going to live with their father, who was himself struggling with severe health problems and unemployment. But Figueroa said the experience made her grow up fast and taught her how to take on responsibility. And with the prompting of her father, how to work hard in school–not only on her grades, but being involved in extracurricular activities as well.

 

With a healthy list of honors and activities, Figueroa culled as much experience as possible from her high school career. She was student body vice president, served on the school’s prom committee, yearbook committee and student court, while playing varsity basketball and varsity volleyball. During high school she received the Certificate of Excellence Award, the Principal’s Award, Outstanding Student and McDonald’s Academic Achievement Award. She was also named MVP of her basketball team, as well as “Best Musician” and “Most Cordial” in the school’s string orchestra.

 

And after a stellar high school career, she said she’s looking forward to what promises to be a successful college experience.

 

“I’m looking forward to a different experience—learning more about life,” said Figueroa. “I’m hoping to learn different things and experience more about life and how other people live their life.”

 

Figueroa said she believes in giving back to the community where she grew up and hopes to someday put her architecture degree to use in the South Mountain community when it’s completed.

 

“I’d like to work in the area and be part of the growth that’s happening,” she said

 

Overcoming obstacles that often derail other teens, Figueroa excelled at the NFL YET Academy. After her parents divorced at a young age, Figueroa’s mother eventually abandoned her and her two younger brothers, resulting in the three going to live with their father, who was himself struggling with severe health problems and unemployment. But Figueroa said the experience made her grow up fast and taught her how to take on responsibility. And with the prompting of her father, how to work hard in school–not only on her grades, but being involved in extracurricular activities as well.

 

With a healthy list of honors and activities, Figueroa culled as much experience as possible from her high school career. She was student body vice president, served on the school’s prom committee, yearbook committee and student court, while playing varsity basketball and varsity volleyball. During high school she received the Certificate of Excellence Award, the Principal’s Award, Outstanding Student and McDonald’s Academic Achievement Award. She was also named MVP of her basketball team, as well as “Best Musician” and “Most Cordial” in the school’s string orchestra.

 

And after a stellar high school career, she said she’s looking forward to what promises to be a successful college experience.

 

“I’m looking forward to a different experience—learning more about life,” said Figueroa. “I’m hoping to learn different things and experience more about life and how other people live their life.”

 

Figueroa said she believes in giving back to the community where she grew up and hopes to someday put her architecture degree to use in the South Mountain community when it’s completed.

 

“I’d like to work in the area and be part of the growth that’s happening,” she said.

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