The cornerstone of the Diablos’ community outreach is the enhancement of youth education among the Tempe area school districts. This focus has spawned the creation and/or funding of numerous educational programs – all of which the Diablos are passionate about. The target of these programs spans from preschool four-year olds all the way to college bound high school seniors and beyond.
This thrust began in 1977 when three very prominent Diablos had a vision to establish a scholarship program for Tempe students with the belief that, given the right students, many of them would stay in Tempe and become its future leaders.
The creation of the Diablo Scholarship Program inspired the creation of numerous other educational programs, two of which were created to recognize teaching excellence – one at the elementary level and one at the high school level – each annual program culminating with a special awards banquet in the spring.
In 2010, a spectacular, high profile program and event was created by the Diablos which combined both of the teaching excellence programs along with the recognition of the Diablo Scholarship recipients. This program and gala event has become highly anticipated annually by the Tempe Elementary, Kyrene Elementary and Tempe Union High School districts and begins each December with requests for nominations for teaching excellence in seven different categories including class act, high impact, inspiration, leadership, lifetime achievement, rising star and teacher of the year for each district.
The awards event is held in the spring at Tempe Center for the Arts and features a dinner, Diablos dressed in black tie and an “Academy Awards” type program. Scholarship recipients are recognized and Excellence Awards winners and finalists are awarded special jade colored sculptures and cash awards. The event also features celebrity emcees and high profile guest speakers.
The Diablos Excellence in Education program and event has truly become one of the marquis awards events in the city of Tempe.