Angelica Ramos ’20 believes that empowering members of low-income communities is a task that starts with empowering children.
Driven by the desire to positively influence the lives of young students, Ramos is interning at the Boys & Girls Club of East Los Angeles, a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and enabling members of the community.
“My work at this organization is significant to me on a personal level because nothing is more rewarding than shaping the characters of children in preparation for a bright and better future,” she said.
Though Ramos was originally interested in teaching in a classroom setting, working at the Boys & Girls Club has allowed her to spend more individual time with the children, thereby building more meaningful one-on-one relationships.
“Because this internship consists of teaching children how to be well-rounded, respectful individuals, it aligns with my interest in empowering members of struggling communities and opening their eyes to a world of opportunity and potential,” Ramos said.
A typical workday consists of a five-hour shift, during which Ramos tutors, supervises and interacts with the children and completes any loose-end work the organization needs. These tasks range from filing paperwork to escorting children around the facility to interacting with parents.
Hometown: Boyle Heights, Calif.
High School: James A. Garfield High School
Some of this work, though not directly related to Ramos’ interest in childhood education, is highly important nonetheless. “There are so many parts that keep the club together, and any failing part can prevent the organization from continuing to be successful,” said Ramos.
Though childcare and the worry that often accompanies it can be taxing, Ramos uses a helpful adage as motivation: “If you’re too big for the small jobs, you’re too small for the big jobs.”
Through her work with Boys and Girls Club, Ramos has significantly improved her skills with children, something she will undoubtedly find useful in a future classroom environment.
“By the end of the summer, I hope to have a better understanding of the way a child’s upbringing and circumstance affects his or her learning and behavior,” she said. In addition, Ramos has also learned a great deal about non-profit organizations, and the effort needed to keep operations running smoothly. In the future, Ramos aspires to start her own non-profit organization.