Life after high school: Chanel Diaz


Past Spartan Chanel Diaz graduated from OA in 2015. She has now traveled across the world to Morocco in order to pursue her dreams. By taking advantage of leadership clubs, attending Pepperdine University, and being self motivated, she has become an English teacher 6,000 miles away from home. 


Her interest in other cultures and languages  started when she was introduced to the International Relations and International Studies her freshman year of college. Diaz explained how Pepperdine helped establish her initial fascination in the Middle East and the Arabic culture. She decided to begin studying Arabic and investing herself and her time into learning their culture and way of life. Along the way there were rough patches, but the four years she was in college she knew this was where she wanted to go with her future. Once Diaz discovered her passion for studying other diverse cultures, she has never lost sight of her goals and interests. 


High school at Orcutt Academy was a big building block in her future. Looking back Diaz found herself mainly influenced by the teachers, counselors, and clubs she took part in. She states, “ I took advantage of the leadership clubs, like NHS, and also my counselor, who was such a big help. Overall, this created a good community and confidence in myself.” Diaz’s classes provided her with useful skills and great relationships. One teacher in particular who inspired Diaz in her journey and has made a lasting impact is Mr. Shaw.  Involving herself in multiple clubs helped her leadership skills to skyrocket and to add new opportunities to her everyday life in highschool.  


While in Morocco, Diaz has had life changing experiences and has made incredible memories.  Through the state department she earned a scholarship allowing her to travel and do the things she loves, which is teaching, but also learning.  The new experience of teaching English at a university in a different country has changed her personality and the way she views life. Diaz shares, “ I used to be more of an introvert and perfectionist, but coming here has helped stretch my personality a lot.”  She has learned to go with the flow of life, which has really humbled her and enhanced her experiences.  


Diaz’s advice to anyone is to work diligently and be self motivated. “Follow what creates that fire inside of you and keep working hard towards your dream,” she explains. When she created her goals to help her pursue her passion, she knew she would always “go for it”.  Dedication and commitment is always important and crucial when it comes to achieving your ambitions.