Carlos Ramirez (right) with fellow Bears Beyond the Border scholarship recipient Lily Rodriguez (left) and BBB co-founder Nadia Morales (center).
Carlos Ramirez is Bowie’s very own wunderkind. He graduated at the top of his class at age 16 and is now in his 2nd year at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX. At his current pace, he’ll graduate college before he can legally purchase a six pack of beer. Needless to say, we’re thrilled to support Segundo Barrio’s version of Doogie Howser (even if he does make those of us who graduated from Bowie at age 18 feel a little slow).
BBB: Are you the first in your family to attend college?
CARLOS: Yes, I am first in my family attending college. At first I was scared because I couldn’t talk to my parents about college because they would not understand what it implies. This scared me at first, but with time I got used to the sudden change.
BBB: Which college are you attending and what year are you in?
BBB: What was your biggest concern before attending college?
CARLOS: Paying for school. Paying $38,000 a year in tuition is a lot of money from the perspective of a 17 year old from Segundo Barrio. School is still expensive, but I’ve managed this through work-study programs, financial aid, and scholarships like Bears Beyond the Border. Classes get harder and harder and tuition doesn’t get any cheaper, but I’m confident that I’m on the right track to keeping my grades up and paying for school.
BBB: What’s your opinion on college textbooks?
CARLOS: They are expensive. I try to find the cheapest way to buy them (Amazon, Chegg, etc) although I prefer to buy some of my upperclassmen books at the University bookstore because I want to make sure I have the right books for those classes.
BBB: How would you describe your first semester in college?
CARLOS: It was a good semester. Classes were surprisingly easy. The only really difficulty thing was to adjusting to a new way of living.
BBB: You’re well into your 2nd year in college - how has been your college experience been so far?
CARLOS: I love being in college. I have found the balance between school, work, and extracurricular activities. I am currently taking junior and senior level courses. I’m also the new work-study for the former St. Mary’s University President and just recently became the new member educator (i.e., pledge master) for my fraternity. I’m very busy but loving every minute of it.
BBB: What advice would you give high school students getting ready to attend college?
CARLOS: I would tell them to enjoy their time in college but to keep keep their priorities straight - it is really easy to get off track.
BBB: Do you plan on pursuing graduate school after your bachelor’s degree?
CARLOS: I am currently taking a personal income tax class and this class has made me realize that I do not want to pursue a career in tax accounting. I would like to obtain my CPA and work as a management consultant for an accounting firm. Grad school might be a possibility after a few years of working in the “real world.”
Keep making us proud, Carlos! To support motivated students like Carlos make a donation to the Bears Beyond the Border scholarship fund today.