CSUN Student Overcomes Childhood Obstacles to Become CSU Trustee Scholar

Mayra Roxi Diaz

CSUN student Mayra Roxi Diaz was one of several students recognized by the CSU Board of Trustees as a William Randolph Hearst Scholar.

Mayra Roxi Diaz had to grow up quick. With her mother addicted to drugs and her father absent, Diaz was left to fend for herself until her grandmother gained custody of her at 12.

The 24-year-old California State University, Northridge graduate student said her early struggles fueled her determination and goal to be successful. She was one of 23 students recently honored by the CSU Board of Trustees with the 2014 CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement for her academic achievement, personal accomplishment and community service.

“I’ve always known I could do it,” said Diaz, the trustees’ William Randolph Hearst Scholar. “It was something I felt inside.”

The CSU Board of Trustees recognized Diaz and other CSU students at the trustees meeting in Long Beach on Sept. 9. The students selected for the awards have demonstrated superior academic performance, personal accomplishments, community service and financial need. The scholarship awards range from $3,000 to $10,000. CSU trustee scholars are nominated by their campus president, and each campus selects one scholar.

“Roxi’s passion to succeed and to help others succeed inspires everyone around her,” said President Dianne F. Harrison. “She continually challenges herself to grow and learn, confident in her abilities and the key role education plays in her independence and success.”

Diaz graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2012. She chose CSUN’s master’s degree program in marriage and family therapy because of its strong reputation and the warm reception she received from the faculty and administrators of the program.

“They made me feel welcomed,” said Diaz about the faculty who interviewed her during the application process. “It’s a really good program.”

Diaz interns at Friends of the Family, a family resource agency, which provides low-cost counseling services to families and children. She also co-leads a therapy group for sex offenders. In the past, she has worked on a rape crisis hotline and as a volunteer with a “positive” psychology wellness program at UC Santa Barbara.

“My happiness is anchored in my deep connections with others and in knowing that there are always people and more opportunities to connect,” Diaz said. She said the instability in her early life taught her the importance of finding connections with people, even when they are not family.

She said her goal is to earn a doctorate and teach at a university.

For more information about the CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement, please visit calstate.edu/foundation/trusteesawards.

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