Cynthia Ramirez, recent George Washington Carver Middle School graduate, is one 15 Lundquist Fellows in the 2019-20 cohort. Founded by Richard and Melanie Lundquist, this program identifies young leaders in Partnership middle and high schools. This five-year fellowship program provides students with an academic scholarship and opportunities for professional growth. Below, Cynthia shares her aspirations for this year and beyond.

Photo: Cynthia Ramirez travels without her parents for the first time for an exciting academic opportunity in Oregon.

“I’m so happy to have been selected as a Partnership Lundquist Fellow because the program also comes with the opportunity to participate in this year’s, week-long Oregon Young Scholars Program (OYSP), a collaboration between the Partnership and the University of Oregon. This is a very exciting and nerve-racking opportunity for me because I’ve never traveled without my parents for an academic experience like this. I’m looking forward to learning more about the university, STEM subjects, the arts, social justice, and building camaraderie with the other Lundquist Fellows who are joining. I really enjoyed the community and networking dinner where professors, administrators, community business owners, and others will socialize and dine with this year’s OYSP cohort.

My parents are very happy and proud of me. They say they feel blessed that out of so many applicants to this year’s Lundquist Fellows program, I was accepted. “She has worked so hard to get here, and has overcome challenging times that didn’t always make it easy for her to receive an education,” my dad says. There were times at school when I felt misunderstood and it wasn’t until my teachers at George Washington Carver Middle School saw potential in me and strongly motivated me that I did my best. At the end of 7th grade, I had a 2.1 GPA (grade-point average), and this year I culminated 8th grade with honors and a 3.5 GPA. My mom, in particular, has been influential to my success. She is a graduate of Parent College, a parent empowerment program offered by the Partnership and designed to help parents become engaged and informed advocates about their child’s education. She constantly advocates for me and I’m learning to advocate for myself through her. She is also an active parent volunteer at Carver. My parents’ work ethic keeps me motivated and inspired to do my best. My dad advises me to climb every step of the way. He says, “Getting to the top isn’t always hard, it’s staying there that can prove challenging.” 

As a rising freshman heading to Santee Education Complex, I’m excited to join new clubs, meet new classmates, and take STEM courses. I’m nervous about starting at a new school, but I’m enthusiastically looking forward to preparing myself to attend Stanford University and becoming a General Surgeon.” 

Cynthia’s strong work ethic is inspired by her parents, Florentina Lima and Apolonio Ramirez.