Lufkin High School senior America Diaz got the news for which she’s been waiting after filling out college applications and doing an interview — a full ride to her chosen university.
Officials from the University of Texas at Tyler made Diaz an official Patriot on Thursday afternoon at a gathering at the LHS Go Center with her family, friends and counselors when they surprised her with the UT Tyler Presidential Fellow Scholarship.
David Barron, associate vice president of UT-Tyler, said Diaz was one of 500 eligible applicants who were in the running for the scholarship, with only 14 being chosen for the prestigious award.
“The fact that you’re selected is a huge accomplishment,” Barron said. “It means you’re a wonderful, qualified student that is going to do great things.”
Diaz was surprised when her counselor, Calvasha Summers, told her that there was a problem with her FAFSA form and that she needed to go to the Go Center. Awaiting in the Go Center were her mom, sisters, counselors, principal, representatives from the UT-Tyler, and even Swoop, the college’s eagle mascot.
Barron told Diaz that her account has already been loaded with the scholarship and that she’s ready for college in the fall.