Deion Jim suffered a devastating knee injury at an Amateur Athletic Union basketball tournament in Denver during his junior year. He fractured his knee and tore his ACL, MCL, and meniscus. He underwent a knee reconstruction surgery and suffered setbacks. Despite bouts of depression, he worked to heal his body and strengthen his knee. Jim made it back on the court and continues to work out every day. He is looking at playing basketball at one of three National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics schools in the fall.
Del Norte High School Class of 2023 is filled with stories of students who, when faced with adversity, refused to give up. APS District News recently profiled three DNHS seniors who understood that succeeding means taking all that life throws at you and persevering.
Kiara Onomoto was just 5 when she lost her father and had to step up to help her mom with her 2-year-old sister and 1-year-old brother. In high school, she has maintained a rigorous course schedule and has a stellar GPA. She’s heading to the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York in the fall where she plans to major in computing security and political science. Onomoto says her father’s death made her stronger and is partly responsible for her drive and ambition.
Abocha Ebakyelo fled war in Africa with his family in 2019 and started his freshman year not knowing English. He is planning to attend Central New Mexico Community College and pursue a career in law enforcement.
And Chanyoung Lee, who was born in South Korea, moved to Albuquerque in November of his freshman year and then had the COVID-19 pandemic hit a few months later. He is heading to the University of New Mexico where he will likely major in mechanical engineering.
Deion Jim and Chanyoung Lee are recipients of 2023 AlumKnights Scholarship Awards.
Read the complete APS District News story in ‘It Can’t Storm Forever’.