Dreams into Action: Johanna Ramirez
Dreams into Action: Johanna Ramirez
Posted on 10/12/2018
Johanna Ramirez of the Nesbitt Discovery Academy.By: Benjamin Rickert, Communications Dept.

When UNC Chapel Hill’s NC Sli (Scholar’s Latino Initiative) program set out to find the “best and brightest latinx students from across the state,” they found 17-year-old senior Johanna Ramirez of the Nesbitt Discovery Academy (NDA). The three criteria for the new “20 Under 20” recognition effort included scholarship, community service, leadership, and the ability to turn dreams into action. Johanna’s drive to succeed and heart for those in her hometown of Asheville were key factors in her selection.

“My parents came to this country from Mexico City sixteen years ago to give me a better opportunity, one they couldn’t see clearly then, but they jumped into it,” Johanna said. “So, now I’m trying to take advantage of every opportunity I can  for them  and to be a role model for my little sister.”

One of those opportunities included admission to NDA, where she developed an interest in business after taking a college course as an independent study. She’s grateful for the help she’s received from her teachers in preparing and applying for colleges, and her drive is evident in her excellent GPA and footprint in the community. Outside of school, Johanna spends her time with the Asheville Community Theatre and a local center that cares for young victims of domestic violence. 

“Johanna's story is inspiring to us all and another example of how our school supports and prepares students for their future,” beamed NDA principal Ms. Heather Brookshire. “I’m especially proud of Johanna in how she is reaching out to make the world a better place and have a positive impact on the Latinx community!” 

Johanna will travel to Chapel Hill on October 13 to formally receive her award.

For others reaching for dreams, Ramirez advises not “getting stuck by focusing on the opportunities you can’t take.”

“Keep looking forward,” she said, “because there’s always going to be a way to get where you want to be.”
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