In 2015, Melissa Diaz Salas ’20 moved from Peru and started her five-year Upper School journey at Farragut. Although she had to learn a new culture and did not know much English, Diaz thrived and became the first female in her Peruvian family to attend college.
“I was in the 8th grade and I was unable to speak or understand English and had no real academic background,” Diaz shared. “What struck me about Farragut is the kindness and generosity of the faculty and staff who helped me succeed in my academics. They made it clear they would never leave me behind.”
Over her years at Farragut, Diaz took full advantage of all the opportunities available. She was a student-athlete and her softball team won two State Softball Championships, she was Battalion Commander on the regiment, she earned a scuba certification, and was a member of the soccer and volleyball teams, all while maintaining a high GPA.
Her hard work ethic and perseverance earned her a full scholarship to play softball at Indian River State College. “Farragut’s discipline and structure opened doors to my college education and it has broadened my horizons,” Diaz said.
Diaz is a trailblazer in many ways, and is sharing her life-changing experience with other girls from her country and is paying it forward by mentoring another Peruvian girl, Alexa Jimenez, who is attending Farragut this year. “Girls like me do not go to schools like Farragut,” Diaz said. “Even with hard-working two-parent families like mine, we are the girls of the slums and we are known as the real throw-away children in this world. My goal is to teach Alexa and other girls everything I have learned at Farragut. The value of hard work through rigorous challenges and the skills of how to be an effective leader through character and integrity. I am honored to bring a positive light to these girls as I know it will be life-changing.”