Thursday, April 25, 2019

Graduate Profile: Isaac Ramirez


Isaac Ramirez is one motivated college student. “I’ve been pushing myself more and more every semester,” he said. He has a love for learning and a passion for science. His family is a big part of the reason he seeks out challenges.
“My parents came from Mexico when I was one-year-old,” he said. “My dad worked at a plant in Portland. He liked it and decided to stay. He started as an engineer and now he’s a supervising engineer.”
Life in a new country was difficult for the Ramirez family. “My parents struggled with learning English. I picked up Spanish from home and English at school. My dad never had the opportunity to do much in higher education. He was educated through his work. When we came here, their goal was to give us a better life through education. Everything they do involves getting me and my sisters into college.”
And so Isaac came to college; not out of high school, but rather as a high school junior. He’s a Sumner County Middle College High School student. His classes for the last two years have been at the Vol State campus in Gallatin. He will graduate in May with a Vol State associate’s degree and his high school diploma.
“I’ve been able to find classes I never would have been able to take at high school. The one that stands out the most is microbiology. I absolutely love it.”
His science classes at Vol State have been a launching pad for his dream to be a medical researcher.
“I want to go into pharmaceutical research. My main goal is to do research into superbugs and bacteriophages. That’s a form of virus that infects bacteria. They’re trying to use that to provide a way to fight bacteria without raising the chance that it becomes resistant to treatment.”
His next step is the University of Alabama at Huntsville, where he has received a full-tuition scholarship and a seat in the Honors College. He plans to pursue a dual degree in biology and chemistry. His Vol State classes have provided a jump start on his bachelor’s degree. “I should be able to finish in two and a half to three years.”
His parents will be watching closely. “They’re checking-up on every single step. They’re super-excited for me to go out into the world and find a way to do what I love doing.”

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