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Estephany Garcia Ramirez

Phoenix, AZ – Estephany Garcia Ramirez is pursuing her lifelong dream of becoming an Emergency Room Nurse.

Estephany explains:

“In my family there was a very terrible accident and they (nurses) were the ones that were rushing to save their lives, and to me, that was my first definition of a hero. I just carry a lot of sentiment for the dedication that nurses have for their jobs, and the importance of their jobs. It’s just a part of me that I’ve always known that I want to help other people around me. Even if it’s just putting on a band aid or providing the band aid, I already feel like I’m accomplishing something of great magnitude in that day. I’ve always wanted to be a nurse, because when I was younger, I would walk into their offices feeling some type of hurt in me, but when I left, even if I was still sick – just the way they treated me, their care, and their patience, made me feel a hundred times better. That’s when I decided that I wanted to provide the same feeling to others.”

Estephany, age 19, was born and raised in Phoenix and she graduated from Maryvale High School in 2017. Currently, Estephany is a Freshman at Arizona State University pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.

Meanwhile, Estephany is among the hundreds of hard working students who have earned scholarships from College Success Arizona. In addition to financial support, the scholarships provide students with specialized mentoring services through a team of talented (and super cool) “Success Advisers.” Matt Sotelo is Estepahany’s adviser, “Matt is a friendly and guiding person, and he’s really experienced and always offering a new perspective on anything and everything related to school. Recently, Matt got me and another student in touch with a registered nurse, which was amazing. I was able to ask questions that I had never been able to ask, no matter how simple, or embarrassing, or complicated they were, I asked the questions and I felt great afterward because I walked away knowing that with even more certainty, that nursing is what I want to do. In addition, Matt gives me small goals to accomplish, and it’s been really worthwhile because had he not challenged me to pursue those goals, I wouldn’t be able to feel good about those accomplishments and have a clear, set path of what I want to do.”

Making the transition from high school to a massive university can be difficult for students, but Estephany is embracing the change, “ASU is a lot larger than my high school, but that has been beneficial because you have people of different ethnicities and backgrounds that you can become friends with and learn from. Maybe you didn’t’ expect your new friends to be totally different from you, but then it turns out to be a really wonderful thing. The more people you hang around with and the more people you know, and the more different they are, the more you grow. So, just embrace the differences, because it’s really, really memorable.”

Several ASU nursing students interviewed by College Success Arizona in the past have noted that the program is difficult and competitive. Estephany says, “Yes, it’s very, very competitive and it requires a lot of self-discipline. You really have to sit down and motivate yourself and recognize that it’s hard work, but that it can be accomplished. You just have to find the inner strength to go for it, because nursing is hard and it is competitive, but I see that it has to be this way because we are doing such a serious job. We’re dealing with peoples’ lives and I welcome the challenge because I know that it’s necessary.”

In terms of family support, Estephany credits her parents with being her top cheerleaders, “My mom and dad have been super supportive. They said, ‘if you’re up to the challenge of college, then so are we.’ Then they just kind of imprinted this idea that education is important, because neither of them were able to accomplish even a high school diploma. They stress college very much and say that, ‘as a first-generation student it’s my job to break the chain of a lack of education.” So, they motivate me in every way that they can, and encourage me to put my mind to it and get my degree.”

For middle and high school students considering their own college options, Stephany offers this advice, “Limited means do not equal limited dreams. It doesn’t matter if you come from a public school like I did – if you put in the hard work and the dedication, and you have a sort of sense of where you want to be, go for it! The only person that can tell you that ‘you can’t,’ is yourself, and really that is the only thing that is stopping you. You have the opportunity to turn that negativity into positivity and also motivation. So, limited means do not equal limited dreams.”

Since 2005, College Success Arizona has worked with nearly 1,300 students, and provided more than 16 million dollars in scholarships and success services to help increase the college attainment rate in Arizona. If you would like to be part of the mission of providing educational opportunity to high potential students from low income circumstances, your tax-deductible contribution can be made through the “Donate” button on the top of this page.

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