Ramon's Story

Ramon's Story

  Ramon Arredondo, Youngest of 5 children, Hometown: Salem, OR , Bachelors Degree in Spanish with a Minor in Sociology from Willamette University

Back in the spring of 2010 Ramon Arredondo was anxiously awaiting notifications from the 5 universities he applied to for admission that fall. “I was nervous”, says Ramon, “but I knew which school was my top choice.” 

As a graduating senior at McKay High School in Salem, Ore. Ramon knew he was on the right track. The youngest of 5 children born to hard working immigrant parents he knew that he wanted to repay what his parents had done for him through the pursuit of higher education. After all, he was following the example of his older brother who graduated from a private university with his bachelor’s degree years earlier. Ramon knew that his solid GPA, honor roll recognitions, and extensive volunteering in the Woodburn-Salem area had him well positioned to enter into higher ed.

Ramon states, “my brother had attended Willamette and I knew I wanted to go there; but when I learned that Willamette had called my high school principal to express interest in me that sealed the decision!” Ramon continues, “the only thing left to figure out was, how am I going to pay for a bachelors at a private four year university? I knew it was possible though because my brother did it.” Thus, with the help and assistance of his older brother Jaime, his strategy was to apply for every scholarship he could. When he came across the Sister Adele Scholarship he knew he’d be eligible thanks to the hard work of his parents who have done agricultural work for over 30 years. By June of that year CASA of Oregon notified Ramon he would receive an award. He recalls, “that money first semester was really good help with books and extra expenses.”   

Five years later, Ramon’s confidence, perseverance, and drive has paid off. Last spring Ramon walked on the same graduation platform his brother had 10 years earlier.  As a Bachelors of Arts Degree recipient he recalls how the scholarship was instrumental. Now, he is looking to find his calling and land a job that builds his credentials while helping his Salem area community. Ramon shares about his professional goals and desires, “if I could land a job that helps me assist my community the way my family helped me that would be ideal.”