Edward Ramirez: VC Promise Spotlight


Growing up in Santa Paula, Edward Ramirez recalls his parents always emphasizing the power of education.

“My mother and father were never able to attend college and wanted my siblings and I to take advantage of the opportunities available to us,” recalls the now 23-year-old Edward.

After graduating from Santa Paula High School, Edward enrolled at Ventura College, where his sister was already enrolled in the school’s nursing program. She initially told him about the Ventura College Promise, the Foundation’s program that waives tuition fees for qualified first-year community college students.

“I was pretty excited. Even before I graduated high school, I knew I wanted to be a nurse,” says Edward. “I knew I wanted to help people, and following in my sister’s footsteps felt like the right fit.”

During his first semester of nursing school, Edward found out about the Ventura College Foundation’s scholarships from his VC School of Nursing & Allied Health professor, Theresa Winter, MSN, RN and RNC. He applied and was thrilled to learn of his acceptance and award.

Edward Ramirez

“When I found out I was awarded, I felt elated,” recalls Edward. “I usually fall in that weird middle class, where my parents can’t write me a blank check, but I’m also usually disqualified from financial aid.”

Edward also got to meet the donors of his various scholarship awards: Jim McGee and Norma and Israel Magaña. In addition, Edward received the Paul and Bessie Carter Nursing Scholarship.

“I was inspired to hear their reasons behind creating the scholarships, honoring loved ones who are no longer here with us,” says Edward.

Edward doesn’t take that honor lightly and understands just how impactful the scholarships have been to his life and education.

“I had been trying to work and go to school and these scholarships were the difference between being able to sleep at night before an exam or needing to use those hours to study,” explains Edward.

Edward is currently in his last semester at Ventura College. After graduation, he plans to earn his bachelor’s degree and then commission into the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. From there, he hopes to continue his education all the way through to a master’s degree. His end goal is to work as a nurse practitioner.

He realizes he has been empowered by the Ventura College Foundation and its many invaluable and influential programs and donors.

“I’ve had many sleepless nights, but I would have had countless more if I would not have had the help from the scholarships – and the kind and generous hearts behind them. I believe that knowledge is power and I’m especially eager to learn. Every day I hope to show my parents that I will never waste these opportunities.”