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This prestigious community of high potential, curious learners are creating a strong foundation for career success. Our founding principles:

Problem solving skills, collaboration capabilities and curiosity are the true foundation of future success

Potential is not reflected in test scores or grades

Careers are profoundly shaped on the strength of the personal relationships you form along the way

Curiosity and learning capacity are more important to your career than any class

About the scholarship

The Diamante Scholars program helps high school students with overlooked and unseen potential find a path to higher education and career success.

Apply in the fall

Students apply fall of senior year to begin program in last semester of senior year

Take a class

Take one class at DVC in the spring semester, enroll full time upon graduation

Build skills

Participate in workshops on career networking, presentation skills, and collaborative problem solving

Buy supplies

Students will receive a $150 stipend per semester to help with school supplies


“No one – except me – believed in my potential. At DVC I found the path that led to my career, and built the skills that made me successful”

“What made the difference in my career were the problem solving skills I learned in college. Not the subjects I studied”

“At DVC I was lucky to encounter teachers who saw and nurtured potential in me that I wasn’t aware of myself.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a minimum grade point average to be considered?
No. We are looking for students who have talent and potential.
Do I need to know what I want to study or major in?
Not at all. This is where you follow your instincts to your major.
What does the Diamante Scholars Program Coordinator do?
They are there to help guide you and support you.
Why is my family included in the Diamante Scholar events?
Because they will want to see you and your peers succeed.
What if I want to learn a trade and not go to college?
You set the goal; we are here to support you.
Why are there seminars and guest speakers?

Because there are many, many people like you who have gone down this path and found their success

Apply to be a Diamante Scholar today

Have you been told you’re not college material? Have people said your grades aren’t “good enough” and are somehow an indicator of your potential? Do you know, deep down, you see your successful future? Diamante Scholars is here to help you unlock your potential.

Apply Online Now

What You Need to Apply

  • Submit an online application
  • Provide your high school transcripts
  • Sign our release of confidential information form
  • Participate in a student interview


  • Determined to graduate from college
  • Available to attend required programming – approximately 2 to 3 events per semester
  • Committed to achieving and maintaining a 2.5 GPA or greater
  • Committed to going to school full-time at DVC (minimum of 12 units int Fall & Spring)
  • Interested in continuing to a four year college or a trade
  • Be excited about transferring

Required Activities (2020)

  • Welcome Reception: January 17th
  • Speaker Series Event: February, March, April, May
  • End of the Year Celebration: June

About Diamante Scholars

The Diamante Scholars program is focused on helping high-potential high school students find their path to higher education and career success. 

Our belief is that the skills and capabilities that make for a successful career for many people have little to do with academic success and very much to do with a desire and capacity to learn, to be effective problem solvers, and to develop trusted working and personal relationships.

The name “Diamante” speaks to these scholars as diamonds. Diamonds in the rough. And diamonds are tough. We chose the Spanish term for diamond to reflect the heritage of the founder, Peter Zaballos —  two generations ago his grandparents Pedro and Juana Zaballos emigrated from Spain to California, working first in the fields and eventually in the Del Monte canneries.






Who We Are

Peter Zaballos

Peter Zaballos

Diamante Scholars Founder

Peter is deeply involved in the program design and works closely with the DVC staff in its operation. Peter was told repeatedly in middle school and high school that he “did not have what it takes for college”. He attended DVC from September 1976 until February 1979, when he transferred to UC Berkeley. He graduated from UC Berkeley in 1982 with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, graduating in 1990 with a Masters of Science Degree in Administration (an MBA). Peter spent his career building and growing high technology companies.

Rosa Amendáriz

Rosa Amendáriz

Dean of Student Engagement and Equity

Rosa joined DVC in 2016, after having worked at Los Medanos College (LMC) for ten years in various leadership roles. As a first-generation college student, she is committed to making education a reality for more students in California. Rosa’s previous positions include Executive Director of the Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE) in Oakland, as well as serving as a program coordinator for Higher Education at the James Irvine Foundation and at the Center for Latino Policy Research at UC Berkeley.  She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation and The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS). She earned a BA in Spanish Literature from Stanford University and is completing an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from St. Mary’s College of California. Rosa is originally from Ventura County, California.

Phone: 925.969.2233


Marina Arevalo

Marina Arevalo

Diamante Scholars Program Coordinator

Marina attended DVC in 2006 and then transferred to New Mexico State University in 2010. She  graduated with her Bachelors in Studio Art in 2014 and her Masters in Educational Leadership and Administration in Higher Education in 2016. Marina most recently worked at California College of the Arts as a Residential Life Coordinator where she dedicated her time to developing curriculum for first year students. Currently Marina is working for the Office of Student Engagement and Equity at Diablo Valley College, and is committed to helping students have the most successful educational experience possible. As the Diamante Program Coordinator, Marina is devoted to the program, DVC, and especially the students she will be serving.

Phone: 925.969.2235