ASPIRE student receives $97,000 scholarship

Photo courtesy of HUSD
Counselor Laverne Williams-Schoonover (left), Aleea Moore (center), and Principal Cristian Miley celebrating Moore’s sizable scholarship.

■ By Kyle Selby / Reporter

Aleea Diamond Moore is just one of the students of the first graduating class from ASPIRE Community Day School in Hemet. Moore was previously expelled from Tahquitz High School during her sophomore year, but still had dreams of going to college. This year, Moore is graduating, and has decided on Savannah State University after receiving two college acceptance letters. Her counselor, Laverne Williams-Schoonover, a role-model of sorts to Moore, also helped her acquire a large scholarship to help pay her way.
She received a $97,000 Army ROTC scholarship to help pay for her tuition at Savannah State; Moore being one of only three students nationwide chosen for this scholarship. In her application, she described her adversities, which seemed to have touched one of the colonels on the committee on a personal level. She also received a Hemet Unified School District Governing Board Scholarship to ease the costs of her move to Georgia this fall.

Photo courtesy of SJUSD
Kaitlyn Torres from San Jacinto High School, and her mother Maria Torres, SJUSD employee. Kaitlyn will be attending UC Riverside in the fall.

Moore plans to major in psychology in order to gain a deeper understanding of the rehabilitation of serial criminals because she feels that criminals on the road to recovery are not presented with enough support. Williams-Schoonover and Cristian Miley, principal of ASPIRE Community Day School, are who Moore thanks for her success today. ASPIRE, a school developed to redirect students who have previously been disconnected from their “educational path,” allows students to have a second chance, and Moore has Principal Miley to thank for giving her just that—even viewing him as a second father.
Last year, Moore was selected as Student of the Month for December at her school, and was asked to speak in front of nearly 100 people. Assistant Principal Mark Harrell from Tahquitz High School, present in the audience, recognized Moore as a former Tahquitz student and approached Moore after the event, hoping she would speak to their freshman class about her story. Gladly, Moore accepted Harrell’s offer and spoke to six different Tahquitz freshman classes, stressing the importance of making the right decisions and setting goals.

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