Veronica Ramos is the new Director III of the Region 23 Migrant Education Program, a program that provides supplementary programs and services to children of migrant farm workers within San Joaquin and Contra Costa Counties
(VR) Veronica Ramos
(BW) Bilingual Weekly
(BW) You have been in the education field for a number of years, when did you decide that you wanted a career in the field of education?
(VR) I have been in education for 16 years. I come from a long line of educators, and I think I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, even when I was a little girl I would play “school” with my little sister. Working with underprivileged students while in college showed me a path to serve students who needed the extra push and encouragement that I could give them.
(BW) How has it been for you, working for the Migrant Education Program?
(VR) MEP has been the most rewarding job I have ever had. I’d say this experience of working with MEP is one that most people dream about, and I’ve been able to make it my reality.
(BW) What challenges have you have along your career?
(VR) My biggest challenge was the budget cuts we had last year in Migrant Education. The decision to not bump another manager was very difficult and led me to ultimately being laid off and having to rebuild many aspects of my life. It was the most challenging, humbling, and strangely enough, the most rewarding experience. I was forced to take time off and learn a lot about myself and learn what I valued most, and that was my friends and family who stood by me in a very difficult time.
(BW) How do you feel as you take on a new challenge as the Director of Migrant Education Program? When would you start your new position?
(VR) I started this new position Jan 9, 2012. Although this is a new challenge for me, I am comforted by coming back to familiar surroundings and know that we have great people in Migrant Education and here at SJCOE. I have great support and although this is clearly the most challenging position in my career to date, I work with a great team and I know we will do our best to serve our students
(BW) As an experienced educator, what are your views on Latinos (a) and education? Do we have a problem with getting Latino students to college?
(VR) I think that our problem of getting Latinos to college is still an issue today, but thanks to programs like ours, we are breaking through; students and families are understanding the power and importance of a higher education for our students. I wish that more areas had strong programs that really reach out and make a difference for our Latino youth. I love that our staff serve as great examples of what can happen with a little effort and perseverance. My motto has always been: Si Se Puede, and I’m sticking to that!
(BW) Lastly, how do you see yourself in the upcoming years? Perhaps going back to the classrooms as a teacher?
(VR) If you would have asked me that a year ago I would rattle off a list of things I’d like to do, but not anymore.
Being laid off for 6 months and struggling to find a job has given me a new sense of who I am and my purpose in this world. I know that I am dedicated to serving students, but I am not sure what the plan for me is. I know that as soon as you try and plan something—and think you have it all figured out—God, fate, whatever you want to call it, comes in and creates a new plan for you.