Spotlight Series: Mary Ramirez

January 16, 2020

Marketing and Strategic Communications

As a police officer, Sergeant Mary Ramirez spends her days serving Palo Alto College and the rest of the Alamo Colleges District. Although she may not always be on duty, she is always looking to make a difference in the lives of those around her.

Originally born in Dallas, Ramirez moved to San Antonio at a young age. She spent the majority of her life here, eventually graduating from Holmes High School, then pursuing a higher education at Northwest Vista College (NVC). Ramirez has been part of the Alamo Colleges District ever since.

"I'm going on my 17th year mark in February," said Ramirez. "It feels like home. I started from work-study [and worked] all the way up to full time."

After earning her associate degree from NVC, Ramirez went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Business from Texas A&M University-San Antonio (TAMUSA). Her education didn't stop there, as she went on to earn her master's degree in business from TAMUSA as well. As a first-generation college student, she was able to succeed with the support of her family.

"We grew up poor, and my mom was always insistent that you go to school, so you can get a job," said Ramirez. "She supported me pretty much my entire time I went to school."

Ramirez uses her experience to motivate others to pursue education. Although she was the first in her family to go to college, more of her family members have now followed suit.

"I got my sister to go to school, she earned her associate's at NVC. I got my brother to go to school, he earned his associate's, [as well as] my mom," said Ramirez. "It definitely has pushed us out of the situation we were in [while] growing up, and now I feel like that's what I'm here for – to help other people. To push them through those barriers that they have."

In her day-to-day work, Ramirez finds that her background helps her relate to the students that she meets.

"I feel like I have that background of a lot of the students we deal with," said Ramirez. "Sometimes they don't have that support. But if they can see someone that's been in their shoes, then there's that influence there that's like, 'If she can do it and I'm in a similar situation, then what's going to stop me?'"

Although Ramirez earned a degree in business, she knew that she had another calling from a young age. Her brother and sister worked in law enforcement, so she knew that one day she wanted to do the same.

"It's definitely something that I saw myself doing when I was younger, and I enjoy it," said Ramirez. "I enjoy helping people."

Since working at Palo Alto College, Ramirez has found comfort in the environment. The students, faculty and staff help make her feel at home. Going into 2020, Ramirez is eager to continue her work with the College and the rest of the Alamo Colleges District.

"I am excited and I look forward to working with the returning students as well as the new students this semester," said Ramirez. It's been a privilege working at Alamo Colleges since I get to do something I love and make an impact on people's lives."

At the end of the day, Ramirez hopes that others see that she, along with the rest of the Alamo Colleges Police Department, is eager to serve the campus community.

"A lot of people that you see doing police work, it's because we have a passion," said Ramirez. "We do want people to see that we're here to protect and serve."