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2024 - Fitz Ramirez: I have learned and accomplished much more than I thought I ever would

Tags: Commencement | Graduation Essays | Student Profile
Published 05/15/2024
Elgin Community College Spring 2024 Graduate Fitz Ramirez

Elgin Community College Spring 2024 Graduate Fitz Ramirez

When I first graduated high school, I was not entirely sure what career I wanted to pursue. So, when I enrolled at Elgin Community College, I went for an Associate in Arts degree to get my general education courses out of the way and explore different fields to discover the career I am passionate about. When my first semester officially began, the world was still in quarantine. I did not adapt to the online courses, so my first year at ECC can only be described as a frustrating and miserable experience.

When the campus finally opened back up in 2021, a longtime friend invited me to join the Engineering Club. In high school, I was never the type of person to participate in extracurriculars. However, the club’s focus on robotics and other STEM-related careers, a field I was vaguely interested in at the time, convinced me to attend one of their meetings. Little did I know the day I joined the club would open many doors and opportunities for me.

Despite the fact that I came in with no prior knowledge of robotics whatsoever, I felt truly invested beyond any class or hobby I have ever tried. Soon, I eventually understood robotics and almost every aspect of running a club. Quickly, I became one of the club's leaders, and soon, I built enough experience to step up as president. My enjoyment of running the Engineering Club also sparked the idea of joining other student organizations, such as Student Government and the Asian Filipino Club. My experiences in these organizations and the connections I made gave me a myriad of opportunities that would’ve otherwise never been afforded to me, like being a presenter at Experience ECC and a board member for the Asian American Pacific Islander Month events.

After participating as a programmer in the Engineering Club’s robotics competitions, I knew that programming and computer science were more than just a vague interest but a career field I genuinely wanted to enter. As a result, I will major in computer science and transfer to a university.

When I first enrolled in ECC, I was an aimless underachiever, unsure of what I wanted to do with myself. Looking back on my short time here, I realize that I have learned and accomplished much more than I thought I ever would.

I want to give a big thank you to Mrs. Chattopadhyay, Mr. Eltzroth, and Mrs. Gaea for being fantastic advisors. Running the clubs was not always easy, but their advice and guidance allowed me to get back onto my feet and persevere when times were tough and I was on the edge of calling it quits. I would also like to thank Mrs. Fletcher for helping me with calculus. I would not have been able to survive that class without her. Lastly, thank you, ECC. I will fondly look back on my time here.

Fitz Ramirez ’24

Associate in Arts

Pingree Grove, Ill.


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