Miller, Dawson, Sigal, and Ward proudly award the Thumbs Up Guys Scholarship to Alyson Diaz. As one of three winners of the $1,000 scholarship, Ms. Diaz has demonstrated her commitment to serving her local community.
Ms. Diaz served on Duke’s Student Government during her undergraduate studies. During her time at the school, she focused on several changes to the institution’s governing structure, concentrating on increasing racial inclusion and supporting underrepresented students.
As a first-generation student, Ms. Diaz experienced challenges during her time at college, worrying at some points about engaging with other first-generation students. As a result of her experiences, she mentored children of farmworkers as an intern with Student Action Farmworkers.
During her time as a mentor, Ms. Diaz encouraged students to create a video project, “Voices from the Field.” She said this project “allowed my students to speak out against the inhumane working conditions their parents experienced while proposing tangible ways to combat serious health risks.”
Ms. Diaz’s work in the community had tangible effects, with all her students enrolling in either a university or college, her guidance giving “them the courage to apply and succeed in college.”
In addition to her work with students in her community, Ms. Diaz took a gap year to work with Glory House, a nonprofit organization that supports survivors of sex trafficking. She loves empathy and love for survivors while helping them with “housing, counseling, and job placement.”
Her efforts help uplift survivors, allowing her to reach out to many members of her community.
Ms. Diaz drew a lot of inspiration from Celia Crus, the “Queen of Salsa.” Ms. Cruz helps others feel a sense of inner peace and happiness, embracing her roots as an Afro-Cuban woman. Ms. Diaz draws on her influence when spreading kindness and focusing on the future.
What’s Next for Alyson Diaz?
Ms. Diaz plans to continue her education, building on her knowledge as a Public Policy and History major at Duke University. She’s beginning her schooling at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School.
After graduation, Ms. Diaz plans to use her training and experience working with Glory House to provide pro-bono representation to sex trafficking survivors. In addition, she intends to open a firm dedicated to trauma-informed representation.
Read Alyson Diaz’s winning essay here.