Reflect. Act.

What’s it like to change the world? Busy.

Get involved. That’s the advice, right? Lidia Diaz-Fong ’17 did. She fell in love with Santa Clara, then made it better: Greek life, student government, internships, clubs. As a senior, Diaz-Fong was elected student body president and bounces from class to meetings to conversations in the quad. She’s busy. She’s a trailblazer.

The daughter of two immigrants and a LEAD scholar, Diaz-Fong says life as a first generation isn’t easy. You don’t know what you don’t know. And frankly, it can be hard finding people who understand. “We have to learn everything about coming to college,” Diaz-Fong says. “We don’t hear stories from our parents about social life, classes, how to manage time, how to socialize. You don’t hear that growing up.”

Diaz-Fong relies on a devoted support system: bright, passionate friends as well as people like LEAD director Erin Kimura-Walsh and professor Jane Leftwich Curry in political science. Whether its advice on leadership or just a sounding board, they’re a text or call away.

Diaz-Fong interned with the U.S. House of Representatives last year and wants to return to D.C. after grad school (likely public policy but maybe law). “Everybody is so driven and passionate,” Diaz-Fong says. “I’d love to be able to do that again, especially with the state of politics.” She doesn’t know the details yet, but she wants to make a difference.

Scholarships were instrumental in Diaz-Fong coming to Santa Clara and she’s a pitch perfect example of their impact. Diaz-Fong has made an impact on just about every facet of the University community. The school she loves so much is a better place because of her presence.

Even if you’re just considering giving, Diaz-Fong says thank you. “The impact (a scholarship) can have on a student’s life, I don’t think you can put in words,” she says. “It’s a once in a lifetime experience.”

Are you in? scu.edu/give

post-image Lidia Diaz-Fong has made an impact as a first-generation student at SCU. Photo by Joanne Lee
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