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Apr 25, 2024 MOST Staff

Alumni Spotlight: Max Ramirez’s M.O.S.T. Scholarship Made ‘Any Kind of Future Possible’

M.O.S.T. Alumnus and University of Memphis senior Maximo ‘Max’ Ramirez (pictured here with girlfriend Stephanie Bravo) has a head for business. The Business Management major will graduate in December but is already racking up experience and adding contacts to his network through his studies and through foundational internships at companies with a local footprint.

Building on skills and ideas Max explored as a M.O.S.T. Scholar at St. Joseph Catholic School, De La Salle at Blessed Sacrament, and Christian Brothers High School, where he graduated in 2020, these experiences are setting him up for success when he enters the local workforce in 2025.

“I had an internship with Cintas Uniform Services which ended in January, and I start at Enterprise Rent-A-Car in May,” said Max. “My goal is to grow professionally and get experience with customer service. I’m working on leadership and being able to coach and train people. Making connections with customers and employees is something that I like to do- having meaningful interactions and building professional relationships.”

Max’s family immigrated from Mexico when he was a year old, his parents having made the brave choice to pull up their roots to find new opportunities in the United States.

“Ours is a lot like other immigrant stories. My parents came a long way and made hard sacrifices. That’s a lesson they taught me, and I’ve been seeing it my entire life,” said Max. “My dad owns a painting company and works very hard, and with the help of M.O.S.T. he was able to get my brothers and sisters through school. Now I'll be the first in the family to graduate from college.”

“It wasn’t until high school that I understood that M.O.S.T. Scholarships don’t cover 100% of tuition and my parents were making up the difference. When I realized how much they were giving up for themselves, I thought ‘Wow, they’re doing so much for me.’ My dad dropped me off and picked me up at school every day, even though he worked a full day. Seeing that pushed me forward and motivated me. It made me feel proud of them and of myself, seeing both sides grow.”

Now on the cusp of his career, Max is focused on finding the right company to match his skills and personality.

“I really want to land at a Memphis-based company that's involved with local partnerships and encourages employees to do volunteer work. It's important to show people in a community that the company I work for cares for them,” he said. “I also want to work for a company that has good benefits and an office culture I’m compatible with. No one wants find themselves in a job that doesn’t make you feel positive about being part of the team.”

Memphis has been home for Max for 21 years, and while he’s open to any good opportunity, he hopes his next chapter starts here.

“I'm not afraid of new experiences. But I have family here and would rather stay awhile, see my nephews and nieces graduate high school. I have a great girlfriend, and she’s a factor when I’m thinking about where I would want to live after college,” said Max.

Thinking about his imminent transition from student to businessman, he sees the seed of any future success having been planted at the schools M.O.S.T. helped him attend.

“The boost in confidence I got from the opportunity to go to a private school continues to help drive me. I keep thinking about my path to these internships and college graduation, and I feel so grateful to be starting this stage of life without having been a financial burden for my parents,” he said.

“That makes me think of all the other students and families M.O.S.T. has helped. What they’ve been able to take from those schools and into college and careers, they can continue to take it through their whole lives.”

“They're excited to learn, and they’re ready to leverage every opportunity. When M.O.S.T. gives them access to these schools, it gives them the platform to be the person that they want to be,” he said. “We don't start with the same opportunities as many other kids have, but because of the help of others, we can make it. Any kind of future is possible.”

Published by MOST Staff April 25, 2024