Lucia Ramirez

University of Denver - 2021

“I was ashamed of my heritage because I was regarded with Mexican stereotypes but my customs were no different than the native-in-appearance American’s. Also—raised by a single, immigrant, and monolingual mother—I faced more adversities early on than many people do. I managed income and family care-taking responsibilities. Because of these adversities, I became introverted and struggled with school and social interactions early on. However, I matured as mentors taught me to cultivate a growth mindset with the Rotary 4-Way Test. This ethical guideline exposed me to resilience-building opportunities that I realize I would not have had if I had been born of another origin. This is why my origin motivates me to advocate for others. Of course, I witnessed my mother struggle but she showed me that her strength, which I admire, was possible because of her advocates. At one point, an immigration lawyer advocated for my mother. I have noted a development of trust between my mom—a monolingual immigrant fearful of interactions with the English world—and her lawyer; this relationship inspired me. This influences me to work with immigration, refugee, and international justice issues because I appreciated the impact of fairness, truth, goodwill, and justice behind this relationship. In addition, I did not have a role model to learn about post-secondary education or opportunity but family taught me to value education and hard-work to overcome adversity. This helped me develop character ethics that I use to set the example of a balanced scholar, leader, and citizen. Thus, I recognize that my origin led to the development of my character; because I benefited from advocacy-resources I am motivated to help others.”