Valley woman receives award from President Obama

An ASU graduate was honored at the White House this week. She and ten other women were recognized as "Champions of Change," or people who are empowering their communities in special ways.

Diali Avila just got back from her trip to Washington and shared her experience with FOX 10.

"I came from Mexico when I was 11 years old, we moved here to Phoenix, I started 6th grade here and for me like my main focus was going to school like for me that's the only thing I knew and that's what I wanted to do," sia Diali Avila.

From a very young age Diali Avila knew one thing for certain, that education was the key to opportunity here in the United States.

"I just believe that education is the thing that helps everybody like if you're educated around a specific subject or a specific issue, you'll be able to make the decisions that you need to make in your life to be healthy or to be successful," she said.

But what she didn't know was that 15 years later, her passion for education would be the key to another door, the White House. As part of Champions for Change Diali and 10 other women received honors at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for their outsanding work in the community.

"Some people said at the event, I didn't consider myself a leader until we actually got nominated and we won, but for me i think it's just allowing other people to actually also lead with me," said Avila.

When she's not working closely with Native American community leaders on youth involvement you can find her raising scholarship money for college hopefuls, or assisting enrollment of people for the affordable care act. And while she says this recognition is nice, the real work comes after winning the title.

"I think the award comes with a lot of responsibilities, because people see you as a leader or like you know they look at you like 'wow you went to the White House you got an award' um but for me, I think it's just showing everybody else that anybody can get there," she said.

Diali was selected out of thousands of nominees, but she wasn't the only recipient from Arizona. She was also joined by a Wildcat, 37-year-old Amanda Tachine.