“Jose Ramirez is the most outgoing kid I’ve ever met! He is an over-achiever and very outspoken,” says Dr. Allan Cameron, co-advisor of Carl Hayden High School’s Falcon Robotics Team. The mission of the award winning Robotics program is to engage students in science, engineering and invention.
Jose’s love of science and math coupled with being a participant in the Phoenix College ACE Program has given Jose a new perspective. “ACE has made such a big difference in the way I think about my future,” Jose says. “Before ACE I just wanted to get high school out of the way and start working to help my mom out! Now I know that I must get a college education, go to ASU and become an electrical engineer if I really want to help her out in the future.”
Jose chuckles as he recounts that at first he didn’t get into the ACE Program, because he thought he did a little too well during the initial application process. “They probably thought that I didn’t need the program, that I wasn’t an at risk student or something like that! They didn’t know that it took me weeks to complete the forms. Choosing just the right words that would say why it was so important to me to be part of ACE. I was so determined to be included in the program that I just kept calling and calling until I was accepted!”
Jose, who has a 3.9 GPA, gets up early on Saturdays to catch the bus to Phoenix College at 6:00 a.m. during the summer months and 7:00 a.m. during the rest of the school year. “I don’t mind waking up early, because before ACE I would get up early anyway to go to the yard sales with my mom. Now, I get up early to further my education….it feels really good!”
Jose feels that since joining ACE his educational expectations have become more clearly defined. “I had a reality check last year when my mom was injured and could not work,” Jose recalls. “We had no money…NO money! I realized that we needed something to fall back on. Education is what you need. She has always taken care of me; I want to get a good education and a great job so that I can start taking care of her!”
Jose is excited that he recently joined the Amateur Radio community by receiving his Ham radio license. He talks with great enthusiasm and at length about science and technology. He sums up his educational future with a favorite mantra “Si se puede…it can be done!”