Aleea Diamond Moore, a member of the first graduating class from ASPIRE Community Day School, has had her fair share of challenges. Despite being expelled from Tahquitz High School during her sophomore year, she always knew she would be attending college. After receiving two college acceptance letters, she has officially made up her mind to attend Savannah State University. With the help of her counselor, Laverne Williams-Schoonover, she also received a scholarship to help pay for college.
After weeks of preparation, Aleea submitted her scholarship application to help make her college dreams a reality. After months of waiting she was notified that she received a $97,000 Army ROTC scholarship to help pay for her tuition at Savannah State. Aleea was one of three students nationwide chosen for this scholarship. Her heartfelt application described her adversities and one of the Colonels on the committee said it touched him. In addition, she also received a Hemet Unified School District Governing Board Scholarship to help with expenses when she moves to Georgia in the fall.
Aleea’s challenges not only made her a stronger person, but also helped shape her interest of study. When she attends Savannah State she plans on majoring in Psychology so she can gain a deeper understanding of the rehabilitation of serial criminals. She spoke of the lack of support people receive in order to rehabilitate themselves after committing a crime and would like to be a part of that change. She said the support system she has received from Laverne and her Principal Cristian Miley were instrumental to her success. She thanked Principal Miley for starting a school that allowed students to have a second chance. She also thanked him for his support and for being a second father figure to her. She said Laverne has been her main support and is not your run-of-the-mill counselor, but someone who fully invests herself in helping the students on campus succeed.
Aleea was surprised when she was selected as Student of the Month for December. As she told her story to a crowd of nearly 100 people, she didn’t realize a familiar face was in the audience. Tahquitz High School’s Assistant Principal Mark Harrell recognized Aleea as a former Tahquitz student. After the event, he asked Aleea if she would return to Tahquitz to speak to the freshman class about her story. Aleea gladly accepted and spoke to six different freshman classes about the importance of making the right decisions and setting goals for yourself.
Aleea continues to inspire those around her with her work ethic and determination. She is the perfect example of what the support of an educator can do to help a student succeed. Congratulations to Aleea on all of your hard work and thank you to Counselor Laverne Williams-Schoonover and Principal Cristian Miley for giving Aleea the support and resources needed to reach her goal of attending college.