CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — An area high school junior is headed to college this summer with a huge stack of acceptance letters.
Diamond Walker has had more success in her high school career than some of us have had in our lifetime. Her story isn’t over.
Now, she’s headed to college and hopes to use her education to make a difference. She did it through determination, but also thanks to a teacher who believed in her and a strong program behind her.
Walker is an AVID student. The program helps under-represented students prepare for college. Her teacher says Walker is exactly the type of student the program is designed for.
“It was the most significant moment in my life because I knew this was just the beginning.”
It might come as a shock to a stranger to hear about Walker’s success, but not to anyone who knows her.
“I love going to school. I love being in an environment of learning.”
“I give a lot of advice all day long to a lot of students and she listens.”
Walker is a junior at Centennial High School. She’s preparing to walk across the graduation stage a year early. But, her future looks a lot different than those of her classmates. It’s because she has to make a decision not many do.
“I remember it was December 14. My dream colleges came back. It was Howard, UI and Clark Atlanta. I cried.”
Walker not only has 56 college acceptance letter, but also $400,000 in scholarships and five full-ride offers. She says the journey here was no picnic.
“It took a lot out of me. There’s nights where I sat there and cried, ‘How am I going to do this?’ because I’m sitting there in an AP class watching all my fellow African-American students drop out.”
Walker, always an organizer, already has her college years figured out.
“I’m majoring in political science and public policy and law. It’s going to be a double major and my pre-professional is in pre-law and my main goal is to become a political commentator and attorney.”
To anyone who doubted her…”I believe the best revenge is success.”
Walker already has a long list of accomplishments. She led the walkout last year, helped organize March for Our Lives and is also on the city’s Human Relation Board of Commissioners as a youth commissioner.