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Part of Western Governors University

August 15, 2023

Student Success

Hispanic Heritage Month – Efrain Ramirez

After moving as a child from Mexico to the U.S., battling ADHD, and climbing the career ladder, Efrain Ramirez became the first in his family to graduate college. But the journey didn't come without struggles. Along the way, Efrain learned to prioritize his values, even if it meant making tough choices. 
In 2020, amidst the pandemic, Efrain managed a healthcare IT team of 20 remote employees. However, out of nowhere, that position was eliminated.

Efrain transitioned into a leadership role, which began a series of events where his values would be tested. Efrain shares, “I cared deeply for our employees, while the organization's focus was on shareholder value. This conflict led to a difficult phase.” To recover, Efrain sought therapy and took the leap of quitting his job without a backup plan. After months of unemployment and a disappointing return to the same company, Efrain made a monumental decision and resigned for good in February 2023, allowing himself to focus on finishing his degree and pursuing his “entrepreneurial dreams." 
Efrain chose WGU to complete his bachelor's in health information management and plans to begin his master's in digital marketing this month. He credits WGU for changing his “perspective of what is possible" concerning getting an education. Attending a university that adapts to the student's pace and demonstrates competence in the subject was a game changer. Efrain only wishes more people knew about the positive impact WGU can have, adding that, 

"When people think of online schools, they immediately think of the negative. It would be extremely helpful for people to understand the rich history of how WGU came to be and the amazing partnerships it has with some of the top employers in the country. By the same token, people need to know that they can transfer from WGU to continue their education as WGU has great partnerships with some of the top-tiered schools in the country." 

The feeling of recognition and achievement is incredibly empowering and can give individuals a sense of hope and belonging. As Efrain entered the workforce and progressed in his leadership career, he realized the importance of diversity and equity. While inclusion is often thrown into the mix, it's important to remember that it's not just about having people with different backgrounds in the same room. True inclusion requires actively listening to those voices that may think and approach problems differently. Efrain and WGU uphold diversity, equity, and inclusion as essential values during Hispanic Heritage Month and beyond.

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