Vanessa’s very first day at the Club she wanted to find ways to get involved in her community. She immediately joined the Leaders In Training (LIT) Program. Her experience at the Club and recently receiving the first ever Renee LaBelle Parsons Girls Leadership Award has given her the confidence and skills to pursue her dreams.
Q. You were chosen as the first ever Renee LaBelle Parsons Girls Leadership Award recipient. How do you feel about that? What does that entail?
A. Very proud. I feel that my hard work was noticed, and I feel empowered to do more. My family was very supportive, and my parents felt like all their hard work challenging me and pushing me forward paid off. It’s truly an honor, and I appreciate this opportunity so much.
Q. How long have you been going to the Parsons Branch?
A. I started going to the Bob & Renee Parsons Branch two years ago. My first day was on my 14th birthday.
Q. What activities or programs are you a part of at the Club?
A. I am involved in the Keystone Club and LIT Program. While at the Club I like to play volleyball and basketball, and I hang out with my friends and work on homework.
Q. How has the Club helped you in other aspects of your life – school, at home, sports?
A. The LIT program helped me gain patience, especially when taking care of my three younger siblings at home. It has also given me a new perspective on helping people, as I have more empathy towards others. The Club has also helped me become more mature.
Q. What advice would you give to younger kids about succeeding in life?
A. Listen to your parents. When you feel like you can’t do it or want to give up, know that if you work hard, it will always work out. Lastly, always keep your word, and stick to your commitments.
Q. What’s your favorite thing about attending the Club?
A. I like being able to help out, and spend time with my friends and the staff. I trust the staff, I feel like I can talk to them about anything. I also like the opportunities that are here, from the programs, to field trips, to being a part of special events.
Q. What would you be doing if you didn’t have the Club?
A. I would just be staying at home. I would probably be helping out my brothers and sister more, if they weren’t coming here either.
A. I am enrolled concurrently at Gateway Early College High School, so I will be graduating with my Associates Degree. After high school, I plan to go to University of California, Davis and become a veterinarian or doctor. My dream is to be able to help those in need.
Vanessa Ramos is a sophomore at Gateway Early College High School and attends Bob & Renee Parsons Branch.