Granger graduate attends white house summit


Diana Mota is very grateful that she got the opportunity to go to the white house.

WHEN DIANA Mota (’16) got a text from Mr. Eden telling her that she was headed to the White House, she was completely caught off guard. She had no idea that Mr. Eden had nominated her to represent Granger and Latinos in Action on a national level at the Beating the Odds summit in Washington, D.C.. Mota was one of two LIA students in the entire country chosen to attend the summit.

Mr. Eden, Granger’s LIA advisor, was very excited when he got word that Granger had been selected to choose a student to send to the White House. “Diana was the best option to nominate because I had taught her for three years and sad seen all of the odds that she has beaten,” said Mr. Eden. “She has overcome a lot of things and immediately jumped into my mind when I had to nominate someone.”

The purpose of the Beating the Odds summit, hosted by Michelle Obama, was to celebrate the accomplishments of 140 different students from all over the county. Each student in attendance was chosen to be there because they were “beating the odds” in some way. Students from multiple different backgrounds and upbringings were congratulated on overcoming stereotypes and disadvantages that they had overcome.

“As a junior high student, school wasn’t my thing,” Mota said. “I surrounded myself with people who didn’t care about school.” Diana chose the wrong friends and let them influence her thoughts about academics. She became an example of how easily influenced young people are by their peers.  “I had bad grades and people thought of me as someone who would drop out and end up pregnant at a young age,” Mota said. She described how people slapped stereotypes and judgements on her, and nobody around her made her feel like she had any sort of potential.

When Mota came to Granger, she was able to turn everything around. “I joined Latinos in Action and met some amazing people,” she said. Mota’s fellow LIA members as well as her advisers helped her realize that there was still time to make changes. “I left the people I used to hang out with and surrounded myself with people who were always positive and cared about their education,” Mota said. She was able to forget what others had said or thought about her and as a result. She is now a Granger High School graduate and is headed to college.

It seems as though people across the state label Granger students as underachievers. Diana Mota took this opportunity to attend a summit will change how the community sees Granger and its diverse student body. Mota is just one of many Granger students who have made huge turnarounds in their lives as they beat the odds. Hopefully her story will inspire other students to make positive changes in their lives and reach their full potential.