At the age of seven, Diego Pascual began a new life in the U.S. after his parents brought he and his little brother to Alabama from Guatemala. They struggled to learn English, adjust to a new culture, and begin school in a new place. Today, Diego begins his third year in college as a transfer student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham studying biomedical sciences. He has come a long way, has worked hard for his accomplishments, and has had an outstanding first two years at Bevill State.
Diego was an active scholar and volunteer during his freshman and sophomore years in college. He served as a Walker College Foundation scholar and mentor, Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) officer, and National Student Leadership Society Outreach Chair. He attended the PTK national convention Nashville in April. Before graduating, he was honored with several awards including All-USA Community College Academic Team Nominee, Who’s Who Among American Junior College Students, Phi Theta Kappa Leadership Award, and was selected as the Most Outstanding Student on the Walker College Campus.
Diego’s volunteer activities have included serving as a UAB Dental School Community Day translator, helping with UAB’s Community Health Screenings, working in the Parrish Community Garden, and serving as a soccer coach for Jasper Park and Recreation. He also participated in the Capstone Rural Health Center’s holiday toy drive. Diego has worked for several years at Capstone Rural Health Center as an interpreter.
Upon graduating with his Associate's in Science degree, Diego was selected to receive one of the first Walker College Foundation transfer scholarships, and a Smith Scholarship Foundation Scholarship. The Smith Foundation Scholarship is valued at $15,000 per year and is traditionally only offered to high school seniors. Smith Foundation Director of IT & Head Mentor Urist McCauley presented the award to Diego at the WCF scholars graduation reception and noted that Diego is the first transfer student to receive this prestigious scholarship.
Diego plans to pursue a degree in dentistry. His experience at Capstone has prompted him to set a goal of focusing on making dental care more accessible and affordable to everyone.