Serving Country and Self
Student of the Week: MARIA RAMOS
Maria Ramos grew up in Falfurrias, Texas but found her way around the world in Afghanistan with the armed forces. Now after a journey to find the right higher-ed institution and career path, she is pursuing social work at South Texas College.
“I fell in love with the military and all of the morals it came with,” Ramos said. “When it was time for me to come to school, it was an easy transition because it’s something I already wanted to do. It’s important to me to further my education because I’m the first one in my family to go to school. My parents have an elementary and middle school education, and both worked the fields from South Texas to Michigan.”
She gave a lot of thought into where she chose to go to school. Her end goal was always to work with Veterans. Originally, she was looking into radiology but found her niche in social work.
“It's just been very hit and miss what worked for me, what didn't,” Ramos said. “I thought I could take on a full load as a new mom, and that was not as easy as I thought. And it was just a lot of trial and error at the time.”
“I would say keep going at it no matter how long it takes you,” Ramos said. “Just know that you’re not alone, and there are a ton of people that have been in your shoes, including myself, a single mom pursuing an education, bettering her life. Definitely a veteran.”
The Associate of Arts (A.A.) in Social Work is an excellent transfer program since the core curriculum parallels the first two years of most four-year social work degrees. After completion of this degree, the student will be prepared to work in a variety of public and private social service settings: from schools and hospitals to counseling agencies for survivors of domestic violence, children and people with disabilities.
Ramos works at the Mid Valley Campus inside the Office of Veterans Affairs which aligns with her career goals of working with veterans full-time.
“I want to work for the VA (Veterans Affairs) or any veteran’s hospital,” She said. “I just wanted to work with other veterans. Everyone’s journey is completely different, and I wanted to see the other sides of the military and what impact it had on other veterans.”
Ramos juggles her school work, career aspirations and the reasonability of raising a child. Her message to fellow students, who might be in similar situations, is to follow their interests regardless of obstacles.“I would say keep going at it no matter how long it takes you,” Ramos said. “Just know that you’re not alone, and there are a ton of people that have been in your shoes, including myself, a single mom pursuing an education, bettering her life. Definitely a veteran.”