Dallas Teen Fighting Poverty to Further Her Education This Summer

Diavionne Dotson is everything politicians, educators and business owners say the American workforce needs.

She's a young woman of color interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.

Her 3.7 grade-point average has earned her a chance to spend the summer surrounded by Nobel Prize winners and other renowned scientists.

"Let it be known that Ms. Diavionne Dotson was selected for the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technology Award of Excellence," Diavionne said, reading from the surprise letter she received.

Diavionne believes this program could be the start of her journey out of poverty.

"It will help me live a better lifestyle and provide for myself," she said. "Other people can do it, they just need the opportunity."

Diavionne may not be able to take advantage of this opportunity. Like many kids growing up in Dallas' poorer areas, summer activities are usually sacrificed in order to put food on the table.

"It makes me feel like I'm not doing everything right," Diavionne said when asked about not being able to afford to go to the program.

Her father said those feelings could not be further from the truth. Diallo Dotson knows his daughter is doing everything right.

"She wants to be different. She has in her mind where she wants to go in life to be successful and be better than I am," he said.

Diavionne is trying to raise $5,000 to get to the Boston camp. The academy has expressed interest in trying to get her there, but she still has a long way to go.

"It would mean a lot to go to this camp and help represent black people and women who need to be heard," she said.

How To Help: If you would like to help Diavionne, click here to contribute.

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