Diana graduated with a degree in American Studies and Spanish. While at Cal, Diana combined her academic work with her passion for community building and youth development. She tailored her coursework in the Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership, Social Welfare, and Peace and Conflict Studies to focus on Transformative Alternatives in Urban Communities. She organized Youth Leadership Now, a small group of young people in West Oakland who sought to address issues facing the community and create solutions. In 2009 and 2010, they received two small grants to launch two community-based video projects.
Diana also created a Youth Leadership Now Program at Attitudinal Healing Connection, an education and social service organization with which she had been connected since high school. Incorporating her work in a Peace and Conflict Studies course, she mapped out a plan for a photography and research program for West Oakland youth. Diana also created partnerships for Youth Leadership Now with the Oakland Tribune and the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, and she received a grant from the Shinnyo-en Foundation through the Cal Corps Public Service Office.
Other service experience
Diana served as an Experience Berkeley Coordinator at Stiles Hall, managing a caseload of 13 students in the UC application process and their participation in the Experience Berkeley Program. She also was a Media Relations Intern at Strategies LLC in San Francisco, and beginning in 2010 she served as a member of the West Oakland Mini Grant Committee of the Alameda County Public Health Department.
Fellowship goal: Diana would like to gain experience working with an organization committed to helping communities impacted by issues such as violence and poverty. She hopes to work in a nonprofit that works in collaboration with other nonprofit organizations.
Post Fellowship plans
Diana's ultimate goal is to continue working in Oakland to provide youth with meaningful opportunities that empower them.
Quote about service commitment
"Having grown up in West Oakland, I am constantly faced with comments like, 'You are going to college - that's good, you are going to make it out of the ghetto.' But on the contrary, my mission is to remain committed to the community that invested in me."