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Student of the Week: Ana “Banana”

Posted 02/10/2009 by Vince Crespin

Senior Ana Chauca-Diaz juggles a busy schedule, and manages to get everything just right.


Ana Chauca-Diaz chosen Spartan Student of the Week. photo by Manny Perez

Thomas Jefferson Senior Ana Chauca-Diaz stays active by devoting her time to many clubs and causes.

One of the things that enables her to do so is her ability to be social. However, Ana the socialite almost never happened. “I was very unsociable for most of my life. I think the move (from her native Peru) had a lot to do with it for me. When I was in elementary school I used to cry everyday at school because I wasn’t used to the culture or how the kids acted,” stated Ana.

Ana, who is originally from Lima Peru, spent the first seven years of her life in a primarily Spanish-speaking country. “I miss it at times, but only certain things. It was so diverse over there. In terms of making the adjustment from Peru to here, I was in a Spanish and English school. I was used to the language, but the kids were just so much different, so when I came over I just kind of shut myself up into a shell,” said Ana.

Ana, a self-proclaimed busy body by nature, has engulfed herself in many clubs and organizations. In just her senior year, Ana is the Secretary of DECA, President of Interact, Student Council-All School Secretary and a consultant to the SBOE (Student Board of Education) improvement panel at TJ. “I enjoy making a difference, whether it is in the school or in the community. Hopefully I can change someones life in a little or a big way. Whether it’s sending Crocs to Africa or running a clothes drive for the shelters down town, it just feels good to help out,” said Ana. With her limited amount of spare time, Ana enjoys taking pictures of nature, and writing about anything she finds interesting. “I feel I have a pretty creative imagination, and I just like writing about anything. Picture-wise, I just enjoy seeing beautiful sites and getting good photos of them.  I guess you can say it relaxes me,” said Ana.

Ana’s college search has been narrowed to two universities. The University of Colorado, Denver has already accepted Ana, now she just awaits a decision from the University of Denver. “I am just waiting to hear from DU. I feel I have a pretty good chance, because I have good grades and I am involved with lots of things, but still it’s nerve racking. I am planning to major in Biology with a minor in accounting. I just enjoy it and would like to become a medical doctor. I kind of want to be like the TV character House; I think that is a great way to help people. The reason for the business minor is because someday I hope to take over my father’s successful accounting business, and with me being in DECA, I am pretty confident I will enjoy it, ” said Ana.

Matt Nicolo who has taught Ana for two years now has high praise for the student of the week. “Ana is an incredibly talented student, dedicated DECA officer, and an outstanding role model for younger students. Basically she is just a tremendous member of the TJ community altogether, who definitely deserves this award.”

Whether she turns out to be a business woman or a medical doctor, Ana knows one thing: “I always want to stay social. I have so many great, interesting friends that have helped me open up, that I never want to go back to the way I was. All my friends and experiences in High School have kind of made me like a pink onion. I have developed layers to my being, and pink because it is a bright happy color,” commented Ana with a gigantic smile on her face.