Biology Major Inspires Others With Passion for Service
Nico Ramirez is in search of something to do. He is not looking to relieve a bout of boredom or to entertain him until the next big thing comes along. Rather, Ramirez, who will graduate East Stroudsburg University this spring with a major in biology and a concentration in organism biology (reflecting, in particular, a love of animals), is looking to discover the thing to which he will dedicate the rest of his life.
Ramirez grew up in the Pocono Mountains and, as most mountain dwellers, is an outdoors person. From early childhood, he and his brothers were given first-hand lessons in a love of the natural world. “My parents always taught us how important it is,” Ramirez confirms. “I developed an appreciation for the earth and everything in it.”
Another thing Ramirez learned from his parents was to be of service to others. Ramirez’s parents, Edward and Leticia (herself an ESU grad, with a degree in sociology), have “always been service oriented.” As a result, while Ramirez is still searching for the specific area in which to immerse himself, he knows now his life work has a bottom line: to be of service to humankind and to the earth, including, of course, animals.
Ramirez already had a good list of service-related jobs before college. But as a resident adviser at ESU, he found true fulfillment. “Some of my best experiences have been as an RA,” he says. “My fellow RAs, their support and what I learned from them, has helped me be as successful as I am.”
Ramirez’s first goal is graduate school; one option he’s considering for that is with the Peace Corps’ Master’s International program. The program’s website says that it integrates service overseas while allowing volunteers to earn their advanced degree. The master’s project actually grows out of Peace Corps work. Students come home with “the skills . . . to continue to make a difference.”
In any case, once Ramirez settles on a direction he is bound to give much, and receive much from those to whom he gives. “I look at my heart and who I am as a mosaic,” Ramirez says. “You take a piece of yourself away and you replace it with the people you interact with and you grow. So, I consider myself a product, not just of myself, but also of the experiences with the people I’ve met. I try to keep that in my head all the time.”