Senior Farewell: Diane López Olea


Daniella Villa

by Diane López, Assistant Mundo Azteca Editor

It’s hard to go through college when you don’t believe in yourself. As a first-generation student, I never had the resources or someone I could ask for advice. I constantly went through this emotional roller coaster. I thought of giving up hundreds of times but I remembered why I started.

I am the daughter of immigrants who came into the United States looking for better opportunities. I was raised by a single mother who gave her absolute all for me to be where I am today. My mom was the one who pushed me and was my shoulder to cry on. I want to be like her one day, a chingona. Te amo mamá.

The first two years at San Diego State University were the hardest for me. I didn’t feel like I belonged and felt out of place so many times when I walked into my classrooms. My life changed when I came across a flyer that said the “National Association of Hispanic Journalists.” I remember thinking “I found my people.” I met the most hardworking and incredible student journalists. I thank everyone who I met in this association and especially to Jocelyn Moran because without her believing in me, I would have never become president of this amazing association. Thank you for believing I can take on this role.

I will always cherish the memories I made at Mundo Azteca. I remember when my first story was published and I never even wanted to do print, but I fell in love with it! I was so excited about that story that I had my mom hang it on the fridge. Mundo Azecta helped me get out of my comfort zone to become an editor. I was always stuck between two languages, I always doubted my ability as a journalist but I received unconditional support from Alejandra and Antonio. Thank you both for being more than just a classmate and supporting me when I doubted myself. #MoreLatinosinNews

I went into his office at least 10 times per semester. I cried in his office, I shared positive news, I told him I wanted to give up, I asked him to reprint my evaluation like 50 times but he always did it with a smile on his face. Thank you, Robert Guzman, for passing me the tissues to wipe my eyes and for being the coolest counselor ever. Gracias por su apoyo.

Thank you, Dr. Nate, for helping me through the journey of being president at NAHJ. I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do it without you.

Laura Castaneda, thank you for helping me land my internship and for helping me become a better journalist. I thank you for what you did for me at EIJ and Camp News.

To my number one fan, Edgar Santacruz, thank you for believing in me, encouraging me and helping me grow into a better person.

Last but not least, thank you papá for being my sweet guardian angel from heaven. I promise to make you proud and make sure your struggles were worth it.

Five emotional, stressful, blessing and hardworking years later I can finally say I am graduating! I am beyond proud to say I am the first person from my whole family to graduate from a university.

“¡Si se puede!”

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