By Doug McPherson
A family that graduates together is a family that celebrates together. And you can bet Tina Ramirez and her two daughters, Marion and Stacy, will be celebrating after MSU Denver’s graduation ceremonies May 11. That’s because all three will graduate on that day.
“We’re going to celebrate with family and friends and have delicious food and dance the night away,” says Marion Ramirez, who’ll earn a B.S. in human services with a concentration in mental-health counseling.
Stacy, Marion’s younger sister by 11 months with the same major, adds, “It’s amazing that we all get to attend such an important event in our lives together. I just want to be surrounded by everyone who has influenced me throughout my journey.”
And Mom is one of those people – both daughters say she’s been a great role model who has always emphasized the importance of education.
“Both of my daughters are amazing,” says Tina, who’ll take home a B.S. in criminal justice and criminology. “They’ve been very determined to continue their education. This has not been an easy process, but their determination and hard work has paid off. I am so proud of them and know with certainty that they have a bright future ahead.”
Stacy adds that her father, Sebastian, has also encouraged his daughters.
“He wanted us to get an education because he was unable to,” she says. “He didn’t want us to struggle like he has. I wanted to make him proud, and I know I have.
“I hope to be able to support him someday; he has worked so hard for us, and he needs time to enjoy life. Both of my parents are great support, and it honestly motivates me to work even harder in life.”
All three women started at MSU Denver in 2011 and realized last fall that they were going to graduate together.
“We’ve always discussed our progress with school and talked about our graduation dates,” Stacy says. “When we realized we were graduating together, I was very excited that we would all get to walk together.”
“I’m not quite sure, but somehow the timing worked out perfectly,” Marion says. “This was never planned, but I’m glad it’s happening this way. I remember talking about our class schedules and school deadlines and found out we would all be graduating at the same time. Not only are my mom and sister graduating with me, but we are among the first women on both sides of the family to complete a degree.”
Tina says volunteering as a victim’s advocate with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department prompted her to continue her education at MSU Denver.
“My goal was to take some classes to expand my knowledge (and) better serve victims of crime,” she says. “It turned out that I enjoyed (it) so much that I kept taking classes.”
She eventually applied for a job with the Denver Police Department in 2015 and was hired as a victim’s advocate.
“I’m very excited that we’re going to be accomplishing such a great goal together,” Tina says. “I believe that this is such a wonderful way to celebrate what we believe in. Determination pays off, and despite all the obstacles, we’ve overcome them.”
“We are strong-minded, independent women,” Stacy says. “We overcome obstacles and fight for what we believe in even when life throws curveballs. It makes sense that we’ve all chosen similar fields; with such genuine hearts, this is where we belong. Our mom has taught us well. I admire her for everything she has done for us.”
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