Byline: MARY KELLI PALKA
Her teachers say Dimelza Broche's sense of color is outstanding and her drawing ability is unparalleled.
"When you see her portfolio, you will be hard pressed to think of another living artist more talented," said Barry Wilson, a teacher at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts.
Dimelza, 18, was born and raised in Cuba. Her family moved to the United States about two years ago.
She taught herself to speak English while she first enrolled at Ed White High School. When she auditioned to attend Douglas Anderson, the teachers were impressed at skills in both painting and drawing.
"She had a portfolio that would just blow you away," Wilson said.
Dimelza uses a wheelchair because of a disease that causes her bones to break easily.
It hasn't stopped her from pursuing her dreams. She started studying art when she was 14, and she attended an art academy in Cuba. She loves painting or drawing the human body, portraits and still life.
Dimelza attended The National Portfolio Day in Washington in December, where representatives from the best art schools in the country talk to potential students and see their work.
She was thrilled the first time one of the college representatives complimented her work.
"I was so happy, because it was the first time I showed my work to a college teacher," she said.
Dimelza was offered more than $200,000 in scholarships from some of the best art colleges, Wilson said. But Dimelza said she doesn't have enough money to pay the difference she would need to attend one of the schools.
She plans to attend Florida Community College at Jacksonville next year and later transfer to the University of North Florida. She would like to be a professional artist.
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ABOUT THIS SERIES
Some have made top grades. Others have excelled in sports, art or music. Most have volunteered in their community. Many have endured more heartache and difficulties than most adults experience in their lifetime. All are graduating from a Northeast Florida high school this year.
Here are the stories of the Times-Union's 2009 Remarkable Seniors, based on nominations from their principals, guidance counselors or teachers.
Stories will appear each day through Saturday, May 30.
When Moses Perkins started this year at Raines, he wasn't sure he would graduate. …