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Digna Diaz

#130 Digna Diaz, Student
(Business Admin)

People say I’m a pro at juggling a busy schedule. As a College of the Desert student with six kids and a part-time bookkeeping job at Temple Sinai, you could say my plate’s always full. Thanks to COD, I am one step closer to living my dream for a better life for myself and my family.

I’m set to graduate in December with an A.A. degree, and just landed a $1,800 scholarship from the Soroptimist Club to attend a four-year university. I plan to earn a Bachelor’s in business administration and work with special needs children.

At 38, I can relate. I’ve built a life with odds stacked against me. I married at 18, survived a horrific car accident and an abusive marriage. When I packed my bags and kids to leave that life, I landed a customer service job at Southern California Gas Co. Slowly but surely, I climbed the ladder with different companies, and became a general manager of a family entertainment center.

Life was good; and I was able to provide for my family as a single mom without financial support until the economy soured. In 2009, I lost my job and scrambled to find work in a tight market. Time and time again, I was told I was overqualified. Or, I lacked a formal education. On top of that, my youngest daughter, Sayuri, was diagnosed with Downs Syndrome. I cried, not for the diagnosis, but for the fear I might not be around one day to protect her. I had to find a way. It was COD. Now, Sayuri is in preschool and doing great. My kids see I’m practicing what I preach: “Go to College.” For my part, I know what I am studying means I can be right alongside them, every step of the way.