Statesman Scholar Alden Di Dio
Connecting with others is at the core of Alden Di Dio’s personality, and he’s found his outlet at Richard Bland College of William & Mary.
“I love it here,” says the Stafford native and member of the RBC class of 2020. “The people and professors are great. Everything that drew me to the college has been fulfilled academically and socially.”
But prior to entering Richard Bland, Di Dio’s life took a downward turn when the former North Stafford High School baseball player suffered a concussion and traumatic brain injury during his sophomore year. At the same time, his family was also dealing with his father’s cancer treatment.
“It was an extremely low point in my life, and I strayed from my faith and family,” he remembers. “The biggest struggle was the island that I felt like I was on. No one understood what was going on with me.”
It took time, but Di Dio eventually healed. He wrote an essay about his family’s battle with cancer that earned him the AJ Slye Memorial Scholarship, giving him the needed funds to attend college. Di Dio repaired relationships and began planning for a future that included higher learning.
“Richard Bland showed up on my radar because my brother took classes here,” Di Dio explains. “When I walked into the high school counseling office to get more information on Richard Bland, the RBC admissions representative just happened to be in the office visiting. It was a sign that I was destined to attend RBC.”
At RBC, Di Dio describes an atmosphere that allows him to thrive in and out of the classroom. In addition to the affordability, the honor student enjoys being in the ASPIRE Living & Learning Community. He says programs like ASPIRE give students a four-year university experience with a smaller, cohesive student body and more benefits.
“The professors are amazing,” says Di Dio, who earned President List academic distinction last semester. “They are some of the smartest people I have ever met and also the most helpful people I have ever met. They are working for you as a student and treat you as an adult which is refreshing coming out of high school.”
Di Dio is the first-year representative in the Student Assembly and president of the new Ultimate Frisbee Club.
“We talked to delegates and senators and brought to light some of the issues that students are facing today,” Di Dio says. “There are definitely advantages to attending RBC if you are interested in pursuing a career in politics.”
Using his personal experiences and academic focus on behavioral science at RBC, Di Dio is considering becoming either a therapist or constitutional lawyer, which would allow him to pursue his passion to help people.
After he earns his associate degree at RBC, Di Dio plans to transfer to William & Mary and major in psychology and history.
Di Dio has found a home at RBC.
“The people here have left a tattoo on my heart,” he says. “They are some of the best and most genuine people I have ever met.”