EAST MOLINE, Ill. — A former SOAR scholarship winner is celebrating more than one accomplishment after being chosen for the award by The Sedona Group and WQAD News 8.
Abida Diasso was selected as one of the SOAR scholarship recipients in 2021.
She attended United Township High School and she's now in college at Loyola University in Chicago. Diasso studies public health with an emphasis on pre-medical. She wants to work in pediatrics. Diasso has completed her first year in college.
In high school, News 8 featured Diasso's challenges playing basketball while wearing her hijab scarf and after suffering a tear in her right shoulder.
Diasso said she has recovered from her shoulder injury besides seldom pain. She also has completed physical therapy. She chose not to participate in sports her freshman year in college to remain cautious following recovery.
She has been involved in several campus groups including the Muslim Student Association and charity organizations.
"It was a learning experience," Diasso said. "I underestimated how hard and challenging college was especially being a first-gen college student. It was just a lot of learning experience having to do things myself because my parents didn't go to college here. Having a good group of friends carries you a long way. Having people to motivate you, people that are going to be there for you."
Diasso works on campus as a patient and care technician. She also has a job at the campus recreation center as a referee.
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