Diana Silva, 15, recently advanced to the state level of the National History Day Competition after taking first place locally for her solo performance about infamous Public Enemy No. 1 John Dillinger.
Silva wrote and performed her act from the point of view of Dillinger’s girlfriends.
“Two of his most important girlfriends were behind the scenes with him most of the time. I chose John Dillinger because he is local history, considering that some of his crimes took place in East Chicago,” Silva said.
A member of the History Club at East Chicago Central High School, Silva received a cash prize of $300 from the Indiana Bar Association for her outstanding project on Indiana law.
“I had worked really hard on the play and scenery so it felt like I won a Grammy. I was just so joyful and appreciative for the opportunity, and lucky to have such great people supporting me,” she said.
“The thing I enjoyed the most was showing people different points of view and making sure they put themselves in someone’s position before judging,” she explained.
“I loved seeing people’s faces when they finally got the point that there are two sides to every person and that John Dillinger helped just as much as he hurt.”
Completing her freshman year with a 3.8 grade point average, Silva also reached the state level with the ECCHS Science Olympiad Team.
“I love all my classes, but especially biology and world history. I really want to go to Harvard and major in business or neuroscience,” she said.
The daughter of Leticia Garcia, of East Chicago, Silva enjoys writing, drawing and singing.