by ASHLEE M. ZWAHLEN Staff Writer
El Diamante has set a few high bars throughout its history. Many motivated students have walked these grounds and have become successful after their time as a Miner. Some attend their dream school, others pursue their dreams but it’s the fact that they started off as a Miner, that truly exemplifies our school’s purpose of achieving excellence. I was honored to have the opportunity to converse with some of our successful alumni including: Cody Corona and Angelo Soriano as they explain the beginning of a long journey ahead and the impact El Diamante has on their hearts.
Cody Corona-Class of 2006 Cody Corona graduated from UC Santa Barbara in June 2010, with a major in Communication and minor in Professional Writing. He maintained a 3.6 GPA and made the deans list on four occasions. At El Diamante, he participated in athletics, playing football in the Fall and Track & Field in the Spring. He also held office in student government his Freshman year, and was involved in several clubs. Various AP classes occupied most of his junior and senior year.
What is your occupation? “At the moment I’m an Assistant Account Executive at an advertising agency. My company, Gotham, does national advertising -commercials, social media, print ads, etc. -for Denny’s, a restaurant you may have heard of. My team executes all the commercials you see on TV and the billboards you see around town. Go eat at Denny’s!” Who has been your motivation from the beginning? “I always want to win. I’m very competitive and I won’t stop trying until the game, the test, the day, the year is over. I’ve always been inspired by winners in athletics and in the business world. For example: Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Jerry Rice, and in the business world Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and John Carmack. Of course, I’m always motivated by my family.” Who has inspired you?
“While I was attending El Diamante, I had the life-changing opportunity to be taught by Mr. Roehl. He no longer teaches AP English at El Diamante, but learning from him formed a strong foundation in my educational, professional, athletic and spiritual life. He encouraged his students to think critically, explore the deeper meaning of the literature at hand, and have fun. I wish he was still at El Diamante so the current students may learn from him.”
Angelo Soriano-Class of 2008 In high school, Angelo was a part of the Choral Department as Choir President, singing in Concert Choir and Chamber Singers for Mr. Sorber, Drumline Captain all 4 years for the El Diamante Marching Miners with Mr. Tackett and also participated in El Diamante’s first four musicals, while performing four years for Tulare County Office of Education’s summer musical program. In these 4 years, Angelo trained in The City Performing Arts Academy attending dance conventions throughout California.
It was apparent that Performing Arts was his calling. Angelo recently acquired a talent agent in Los Angeles called DDO and is currently working for the Walt Disney Company. This last Christmas, he performed at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL in the ABC Parks Christmas Parade behind Disney channel actress and singer Debby Ryan from, “A Suite Life on Deck.” These days, he works in Disney California Adventure dancing alongside Mickey Mouse in a show called Disney Dance Crew, simultaneously singing and dancing Disney Channel songs in another show entitled Disney Channel Rocks! He was recently casted in the reopening of the show called Disney Junior: Live on Stage where he can perform with his Disney Junior friends.
Who was always there to motivate you? “My motivation came from a bunch of people. Anyone who became a part of my life inspired me in some way. My parents are the ones to always be by my side when it comes to performing. Early on though, I owe it to John Sorber and Mike Tackett for helping me grow greatly as a performer and they were ones to inspire me. My dance teachers David Rosales and J.P. Christensen from The City Performing Arts Academy were the ones to shape who I am now as a person and performer. Ultimately they help push me to become a professional entertainer and motivated me every step of the way, until today.
”Could you always see yourself as successful as you are today? “Did I always know what the future would look like? No, and as far as I know, it’s only getting started. I am only 21 years old and hope to build a great one in front of me. The future is what we make of it and to be able to answer that question means that I might be saying I am at the peak of my game and I know I have room to grow. No, I didn’t always know what my future would look like but it’s normal for me to just hope for the best and maintain what I have now with fantastic work ethic, great attitude and the support of the people I cherish in my life: People who value me as much as I value them.” For you present Miners, I hope you are motivated to pursue your dreams. With hard work, a steady goal, and a little faith, you too can be who you want to be.