2017 Character Does Matter Scholarship Recipient – Diego Pinzon

2017 Character Does Matter Scholarship Recipient – Diego Pinzon


– In 2014, I moved to the USA. I didn’t know anyone, only
my mom and my stepdad. I didn’t know any English. Since I came here in 2014, I started going to West
Potomac High School. I had to do the junior
year for like three years. Basically it was like I was
starting all over in 9th grade. I was like, I want to learn a language. I want to understand what
they’re talking about. So I decided to like study hard, read books, practice my English. I was like working hard
to make that goal happen. My normal week is like
I go to high school, we finish the school at 2:55, I get ready, and then I start walking to work until nine to ten p.m. (soft acoustic guitar music) My dad is the only one
was paying for everything, so I saw he was like,
putting a lot of effort. I wanted to help him, you know? To make him feel like we
are supporting each other. (gentle guitar music) – About three weeks ago I
was walking into the Safeway, and I look over and I see this young man, and he’s talking to this
woman, and she’s elderly, and he must’ve gone to
three different bins and looked for things for her, and brought them back to her cart. And I realized within about
three seconds it was Diego. I first met Diego through the
Character Does Matter program. We were giving a presentation here. We quickly realized that
about half of the students in the class that we were doing the presentation for
couldn’t speak English. And Diego volunteered
without even any hesitation to stand up and be our translator. (Diego speaking Spanish) I think that it speaks volumes
the fact that Diego is able to come here and within two years, be able to stand in front
of his peers and translate. And it was so obvious that he had really taken on that spirit of
“If Not Me, Then Who…” – The story that Travis Manion Foundation was telling was like really inspirational. I was, I feel like, inspired to do that translation, you know what I mean? This is like a good example for all of us who are here in this room. I start thinking about “What
are you doing in your life?” “What are you going to do,
what are you planning to do?” – Working with Diego has really helped me and given me a purpose. He’s into all our service projects. He’s always helping out. He’s so generous of his time. – It’s about integrity,
courage, and leadership because you are the one who
is taking the first step so other people is going to follow you. The veterans are a good
example for me to keep fighting and like, help other people
around, help the community. I take that like, “Si no lo hago yo… Entonces quien.” That means, “If Not Me, Then Who…” (guitar strums)

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