Our Story

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

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

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.

(925) 969-2233

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.

(925) 969-2235