The Ramirez family is pictured above. From left to right, front row: IGNACIO (BS, Construction Management, 04), Teresa, FRANCISCO (BS, Mechanical Engineering, 03). Back Row: CARMEN (BS, Engineering, BA, Latin American Studies, 97), AGUSTIN (current psychology major), Jesus, LORENA (BA, Psychology and Latin American Studies, 04; Credential, 07; current masters student in psychology), TERESA (BA, Spanish, 01), JESUS (BS, Mechanical Engineering, 99).
Success Times Seven
When Jesus and Teresa Ramirez moved their family of eight (soon to be nine) from Mexico to East Oakland in 1981, they were determined that their children would benefit from the educational opportunities in the United States.
“They always talked about college throughout our lives,” says daughter Carmen of her parents, who both have an elementary-level education. “They asked, ‘What do you want to be? Well, you need to go to college.’ ”
Carmen was the first to go to college, and she decided on Chico State after a campus visit. “Everybody was so friendly and helpful—it felt like home,” she says. She notes that programs like the Educational Opportunity Program and MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement), help from the financial aid office, and social support from the Latina sorority Lambda Theta Nu made Chico State feel very student oriented.
All of Carmen’s siblings soon followed her to Chico, loving the welcoming feel of campus and the community. “It was shocking to them at first,” she laughs. “You cross the street, and everyone says hi to you.”
The seven Ramirez children lived together when their times in college overlapped, creating, Carmen says, another family here, with a focus on helping each other get to graduation and successful careers.
— Anna Harris, Public Affairs and Publications