Meet Our Scholars
Diego spent his early years in a New Jersey suburb. Taking him into New York City often, his parents instilled in him a love for art and different cultures. At the age of seven, he and his family moved to South Florida - this move proved to be both a culture shock and a rewarding change. With its proximity and closeness to Latin America, South Florida became a place where Diego was able to connect with his Hispanic heritage. Discovering his sexuality in middle school, Diego stayed in the closet until his junior year in high school, fearing he wouldn't fit in or make new friends if he was candid about his sexual orientation. He excelled in academics and athletics and in high school became involved in community service as a member of the Youth Leadership Broward Foundation, the secretary for his local chapter of Best Buddies and a Community Liaison for his high school's National Honor Society (NHS). As Community Liaison, he co-led his NHS Relay for Life Team, raising money for the American Cancer Society. Amid all his community service, Diego never lost sight of his academic career graduating 19th in a class of over 1,300 students. Diego attended Columbia University and majored in architecture. He hopes to eventually own his own architecture firm, and will continue his involvement in the LGBTQ community and be a positive role model to gay youth.