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  W.E.B Du Bois Awards for Academic Excellence
Recipients of the W.E.B. Du Bois Awards are selected by the Black Faculty, Staff and Administrators Network (BFSA) and receive $1,000 each, provided by donors through the President’s Fund.
Alaric Hill
Alaric Hill, 20, saw his hard work pay off this year: He’s graduating from De Anza with a degree in Liberal Arts and a football scholarship from Waldorf University in Iowa.
Alaric plans to study social
and behavioral sciences at
Waldorf. Once he finishes his bachelor’s degree, he has set his sights overseas. He wants to join the Peace Corps and do humanitarian work in other countries.
“I’d like to travel and hopefully see how I can make an impact,” he said, adding that he’d like to teach English and work on agriculture and sustainability projects.
Alaric graduated from Prospect High School in Saratoga, where he played football for three seasons. He was a wide receiver at De Anza for two years. During that time, a bout with bursitis in his left hip set him back for a while, but he recovered and feels stronger than ever.
“Alaric is a hard-working football player who is academically motivated and a social justice warrior,” said Anthony Santos III, De Anza’s head football coach. “He’s a loyal teammate and a dedicated friend to everyone he came in contact with.”
During his time in college, Alaric also worked overnight shifts as a security officer for a local tech company. He said he took pride in maintaining his GPA while meeting his other obligations.
Alaric said he enjoyed playing football alongside his teammate and best friend, Conor Collins, who graduated over the winter with a scholarship to play football at Dixie State University. They’ve been friends since age 5 and are “like brothers,” Alaric said.
Alaric also praised his coaches at De Anza, including wide receivers’ coach Stephen Amoako. “He helped me become a better athlete and a better man.”
De’Von Johnson
De’Von Johnson is graduating with degrees in both Business Administration and Liberal Arts. He plans to continue
his studies toward a career in accounting. But even though he’s good with math, he didn’t always have an easy time in class.
De’Von, 24, credits some of his
success to the Math Performance Success program, a
De Anza College Learning Community that provides extended instruction, specialized counselors, peer tutoring and a supportive network of classmates who take part in various activities. De’Von said the MPS instructors were especially helpful.
After graduating from Homestead High School in Cupertino, De’Von has taken classes at De Anza for nearly six years. An Environmental Studies course taught by Alicia De Toro was one of his favorites.
When other classes were more difficult, he found support through De Anza’s Disability Support Services program, where counselor Esther Halwani encouraged him to persevere.
“De’Von is a hard-working student,” said Halwani. “He is committed to his educational goals, no matter what challenges come his way.”
The most recent quarter was especially challenging for many students. De’Von said he missed coming to campus and seeing instructors and friends in person. But he was able to email instructors when he had questions and keep in touch with classmates by texting.
De’Von said he’s thinking about pursuing another degree, possibly at De Anza, before continuing on to a four-year university.
“I think De Anza is a great place for students, including those with disabilities,” he said. “They can get great help here.”

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