Julian Ramirez-Torres told a room full of high school students about the doubts and fears he had before starting college. He also shared the conversation about college he had with his father.
"I told him about my desire to go to college and he said to me, 'Get a job instead, stop wasting your time,'" said Ramirez-Torres, principal at Grand Rapids Public Schools' Southwest Middle High School - Academia Bilingüe.
He was at Union High School when he had that conversation about college with his father. "I now realize my dad did not know how to help me achieve my goals or give me the money to go to college. He was protecting me from failure when he told me to get a job," he said.
Ramirez-Torres was the keynote speaker March 28 for a National TRIO Day celebration. Grand Rapids area high school students who participate in Grand Valley's TRIO programs visited the Allendale Campus for a daylong program that included a tour, lunch and presentations from various campus departments.