Miami Palmetto High School senior Diana Quesada won the Posse Scholarship to Syracuse University in New York to study Architecture.
Quesada says she decided on architecture because it combines her passions.
“I love art and I enjoy math,” she says. “The field interests me as a whole. Last year I had to do a research paper on any field or subject that could be tied to mathematics. I chose to research the math behind ancient Greek and Egyptian architecture and it truly amazed me.”
At Palmetto, she’s taking the Technical Design elective and at the end, she can become certified in AutoCAD.
“I work with 2-D and 3-D designs,” she says. “There are three levels of the elective. I started last year, I’ve only been able to do two of the levels. But my teacher says I can take the exam at the end of the school year and if I pass I can get AutoCAD certified.”
Today, computer design is critical in architecture.
“We do physical drawings and computer designs,” she says. “I spoke to a student at the School of Architecture, and they use a program very similar to AutoCAD. Theirs is more elaborate.”
In middle school, Quesada was a part of the art magnet. At Palmetto, she took art her freshman year. She’s a strong artist, good enough to be recognized as the Best Freshman Artist at the underclassmen award ceremony. She’s taking a portfolio development class this year.
Quesada likes to work with all kinds of media. She enjoys working with acrylics and water color the most.
“They have unique textures and yet they both look beautiful on paper,” she says. “Acrylic is much harder to work with. I like my pieces to focus a lot on nature and its unique qualities.”
She particularly likes to paint plants.
She prefers to stick to one medium for every drawing or painting she does.
“Consistency is a big part of art,” she says. “I like experimenting with different mediums but I like to stick with one medium for every piece.”
Her community service work includes dancing with a traditional folkloric group called Mi Florida Costa Rica.
“Aside from the dance group,” she says. “I was a peer leader at the St. John Neumann Catholic church.”
She became a peer leader in the summer of 2014 after doing her confirmation. She received the required training, and her first year as a peer leader was an unforgettable experience.
“I’m currently working on a community service project,” she says. “I’ve already had it approved. It’s a program aimed to helping immigrant students and their families. I’d like to help these students get well adjusted to the school system.”
Quesada knows how big an adjustment it is. She immigrated to the U.S. when she was five.
“I didn’t know the language so I know what these kids go through,” she says.
The project has been incorporated into the existing club, called Panther to Panther.
“I want to hold monthly meetings so I can help the students and the families get adjusted,” she says. “Many students don’t know about the amount of help that exists in the school system for kids with financial needs, learning disabilities, or other types of concerns. For example, schools offer waivers for SAT and ACT exams for those with free and reduced lunch. Others might need help understanding the college application process, as it is much different than in our countries.”
Quesada is also a member of No Plate for Hate, an anti-bullying club.
Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld