Kimberly Ramos is very familiar with a quote from Hippocrates that reads: “Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity.” For Ramos, this expression is a description of her personality, the size of her heart, and how beneficial she will be to the medical field and the society.
As the daughter of hardworking immigrants from Honduras and the first one in her family to attend college, Ramos began her involvement in the medical program in 6th grade knowing the importance of being well rounded and how having a full school experience will mold her future. She dedicated all her elementary and high school years to become a woman of good and a top student, and her commitment earned her a McDonald’s HACER National Scholarship to cover her tuition costs.
The program is dedicated to helping Hispanic youth reach their higher education goals. Every year, the McDonald’s HACER National Scholarship will award thirty students that possess impressive academic achievements, community involvement, and financial need, with up to $100,000 to help finance their tuition.
With an entire world and promising future in front of her, Ramos’ life-changing experience is one of those stories that we love to share; Therefore, we interviewed this orgullo Hispano and asked her about her plans for the future and how nationwide top Latinx students can pursue their dreams and become a benchmark in their careers.
How did you hear about the McDonald’s HACER National Scholarship and what motivated you to apply?
I heard about the McDonald’s HACER National Scholarship from the Hispanic comedian Jesus Garcia, also known as Mr.Chuy, on Instagram. When he posted about the scholarship, I decided to look into it. After reviewing the requirements, I thought I’d be a perfect candidate. I decided to apply immediately.
What are you studying? Why did you choose your career path?
I currently attend the University of Central Florida (UCF). I’m majoring in Biomedical Sciences and I hope to later attend medical school. I chose to major in biomedical sciences because I have a passion for helping others and felt that it would be a great stepping stone to a career in medicine.
Why did you choose that specific college?
I chose to attend UCF because I felt right at home after touring it. I always imagined myself going to a huge university and UCF fit the bill perfectly, being one of the largest schools in the country by total enrollment.
UCF also offers many opportunities for internships and job placement here in Orlando, Fl. The location was also an important factor in my college decision. UCF is only a two and a half-hour drive from my hometown so I’m never too far away from home.
The medical field is part of your family history. With your mom working as a Certified Nursing Assistant, what was her reaction when you received the email notifying you were a McDonald’s HACER National Scholarship recipient?
My mom was beyond thrilled when I told her I was a McDonald’s HACER National Scholarship recipient. My parents always instilled the importance of education on me. They raised me to believe that going to college is very important. After seeing that email, it probably reassured her that she did a good job.
How did you feel when you received the notification that you were a McDonald’s HACER National Scholarship recipient?
I was so happy to see the email notifying me that I was a recipient. It showed me that hard work pays off. My family and friends were also very happy for me. After all, it is because of their support that I was able to apply. It truly is an honor to be a McDonald’s HACER National Scholarship recipient.
Who is your role model? Why?
My older brother has always been a big role model for me. He likes to say that he serves as a cautionary tale. Growing up, he made a few mistakes when it came to his education and life choices. Nobody is perfect. Fortunately, I have been able to learn from his mistakes. I’ve watched him learn and grow with every new challenge thrown his way. He’s my role model because he never let his mistakes define him. He continues to grow every day.
Helping others is your calling: How was your experience as an intern at the Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue? What did you learn?
Interning with Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue was an incredible experience that not many people my age get to have. I got firsthand experience of how the engines work and how first responders treat patients in the field.
I learned so much about emergency medicine during my time with them and I realized that I want to pursue a career in emergency medicine.
What are your plans for the future?
I plan on graduating from UCF with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences so that I can then attend medical school. After medical school, I plan on beginning my surgical residency to eventually become a board-certified trauma surgeon.
How would you encourage Latinx students like you to keep fighting for their dreams and pursue higher education?
Our parents came to this country because it is the land of opportunity. The McDonald’s HACER National Scholarship is an amazing opportunity for Latinx students and I encourage all to apply for it. I know that it feels like sometimes our goals and our dreams seem out of reach. If I learned anything from my parents, it’s that hard work pays off. As the saying goes, si se puede.
The McDonald’s HACER National Scholarship was established in 2008, and since then, the program has awarded nearly $5 million in financial help to 46 students across the country. If like Kimberly Ramos, you want to seek higher education, you can apply to the McDonald’s HACER National Scholarship to receive up to to $100,000 to help finance your tuition. The scholarship application period opened on October 7, 2019, and runs through February 5, 2020.