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Surprised and ‘overjoyed’: Winters Mill High senior receives full scholarship to McDaniel College

Winters Mill senior Diana Flores was awarded the Dorsey Scholarship by McDaniel College during a surprise announcement in Westminster Wednesday, March 24, 2021. Dorsey Scholars are provide with full tuition, including room and board for all four years at McDaniel College, valued at more than $200,000.

A Winters Mill High School senior received a surprise at school on Wednesday. Over $200,000 given to her by a person in a green monster costume.

Diana Flores, who will be graduating this year, received McDaniel College’s Dorsey Scholarship. It is the highest academic honor the school offers and McDaniel representatives, as well as the Green Terror mascot, showed up to the school building to surprise her with the gift. The scholarship provides a full four-year tuition including room and board at the college.

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“I definitely wasn’t expecting it,” she told The Times, adding that she was “really overjoyed” by all the support she received and the excitement for her future.

The Dorsey Scholarship Program celebrates and rewards outstanding and high-achieving students who will become future academic leaders and role models on campus as a future McDaniel student. Students are chosen for the scholarship rather than apply for it and Flores was one of three incoming freshmen for the class of 2025 selected as a recipient.

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Flores said she was contacted by her assistant principal last week to pitch an idea on starting a podcast about student mental health. It’s been something she’s been thinking about doing. They agreed to meet and talk about it in person and the in-person conversation lasted about 20 to 30 minutes.

After the conversation, they left to go “record,” walked into the rotunda and were greeted by people from Winters Mill and McDaniel telling her congratulations.

Flores is an executive board member for Falcons of Strength, an international program to prevent youth suicide, violence, bullying and substance abuse. She is involved with the Cultural Differences Unite club. And she was recognized as the 2020 Student Champion of the Year by the Children’s mental Health Matters! campaign. Her passion for mental health issues led her to be featured on NBC’s Today show.

Flores said she committed to McDaniel a few months ago and will start attending in the fall. It was one of her top choices because of how close it is to her family and it allows her to continue with her community work.

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