GREENWOOD, Miss. -- Dia Chawla’s high school counselor, Gearldine DeLoach, observed that Chawla tends to set goals and concentrate on reaching them.
“She is a hard worker, and she is very focused. It’s not just handed to her,” DeLoach said.
This is paying off for Chawla and her school, Pillow Academy. Chawla, 18, who is a scholar and athlete, is one of six female high school students nationwide to have advanced to the finals for the National High School Heisman Trophy. The national winners of the scholarship competition — one male and one female — will be announced Dec. 1.
Chawla’s brother, Sunjay, was chosen as the national winner when he was a senior at Pillow.
DeLoach said Dia Chawla’s progress in the Heisman competition is good for Pillow. “It brings a lot of recognition to our school nationwide,” she said, explaining that Chawla’s honor was posted on the Heisman website Monday when she was announced as the winner of the South Regional.
There’s more coming up on the site, too. “They are coming to do filming here at the school tomorrow,” she said on Tuesday. “We are real excited.”
Chawla has the top grade-point average in her class. She made a perfect score of 36 on the ACT exam, and she is a National Merit semi-finalist. She is president of the student body at Pillow and teaches a free ACT preparatory class for girls at Pillow and Greenwood High School.
She was a member of Pillow’s 2020 state championship basketball team. In tennis, she won two state championships in doubles and one in singles, and in dance, her team at Pillow won two state championships.
The National Heisman award winners will travel to New York and be honored during the College Football Heisman trophy presentation.
- Contact Susan Montgomery at 581-7241 or firstname.lastname@example.org.