Go Diego Go!

Hello fellow Dreamers,

Today I was at school while my instructor was handing out this season’s issue of SkillsUSA Champions Magazine. On the cover was a title saying “Go Big or Go Home”. As I quickly skimmed through the magazine, I found an article about a young man that has succeeded in his life. What does catch the eye was his past and how he over came it. (For copyright issues, I’m going to summarize the article without leaving out any details.)


Diego Carvallo,18, was born in Mexico. He was a good child and was the center of attention at school. Everything changed at the age of 10 when his father was given a job transfer from their home land to Atlanta, GA. Normally moving you lose so much, but to Carvallo, it’s as if he was a baby. 10 years old with no English knowledge, in such a big city, is a pretty big change on someone’s life. Not only did it affect his personal life, it drastically changed his social status from a very popular boy, to just another somebody, where most of his problems began.

Now with him turning invisible from being an outgoing child, he began to act out negatively. Causing trouble in class, running away from school, fighting, and more mischievous deeds. His parents worried so they took him to a psychiatrist, only to figure out he was diagnosed with ADHD.

Time passed and things only became worse. Having an argument with his mother, he overdosed on Tylenol then had to have his stomach pumped. At the time, he was diagnosed as suicidal and was rushed to the hospital, but with no progress. He knew what the doctors wanted to hear to get out. Upon his release, he went back to school and found out no one noticed. Feeling invisible yet again, he went in a deep state of depression.

However, there was one major downfall still to come. One night he was arrested with domestic violence, hitting his mother and fighting with the police. He didn’t go to the detention center but was placed at the rock bottom, Jail. His first few nights he spent crying for his mother. Then during the rest of his sentence, he was in a silent state where he began to look back at his past. As his time was served, he went back to the hospital, only thinking about how no one would notice him yet again. Only to realize there was one person expecting his return.

Starting high school, Carvallo joined the criminal justice program and, by default, SkillsUSA. His instructor, Thomas Washburn, sat and talked to him about his past and what can be done to help improve himself. Washburn later got him involved into SkillsUSA, which helped him to see a brighter future. “SkillsUSA provided all the things I needed in one package… Good friends, Goals and a Support structure. ” Carvallo said to best describe what SkillsUSA meant to him. He quickly got involved into social activities to leadership development. Washburn noticing his advancement from depression, he encouraged Carvallo to run for state SkillsUSA office. Carvallo had a bigger idea and decided to run for national office while stating “Go Big or Go Home”.

This major run helped his boost his moral higher than it has ever been before. Using his cleverness, he used the theme song from “Go, Diego, Go” at every speech and ended it of with “Will you be my Dora and go on this adventure with me?”

At the Awards Ceremony of SkillsUSA’s National Leadership and Skills Conference, Carvallo heard his name called as he was announced as the new Region 2 vice president. Overwhelmed with joy and shock, he froze in his seat. Washburn was telling him to go up the whole time with a big grin on his face.

His parents were filled with emotions as soon as the heard the news as well. Stating that it was only going to be the smallest fraction of his accomplishment yet to come. Carvallo plans to go into nuclear and radiological engineering. Out of nearly 9000 students, he was one of the 500 chosen as a semifinalist for the Georgia Institute of Technology’s prestigious scholarship.

His roads of opportunity has widen and no dead end is seen anywhere. Yet to Carvallo, his road to success is in a folder that his mother keeps. In the folder is all the court papers, detention slips, and past life memories he remembered. One day, his mother laminated an article from the newspaper about his new vice presidency and placed it in the folder as well. He always look back in the folder, to see how far he has come in life, always saying the same word “Wow”


Depression, hopelessness, and despair. Such powerful emotions but yet are still weak to friendship, love, and success. It shows how much the human spirit can take and what it will do to achieve a dream towards success. Truly inspiring this young man is.

I hope you enjoyed this story and help motivate you to active your dreams as well. Remember, anything is possible, the impossible just takes a little longer to do.

Good Morning, Good Evening,
Keep On Dreaming

Martin Mejia S.


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