Teaching at-risk youth is passion for Chicago’s Very Own Francisco Ramirez

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He escaped poverty to live a life giving back to others. Francisco Ramirez is an after-school program manager teaching at-risk students the importance of service.

Ramirez is an after-school program manager for buildOn. The organization teams up with schools across the city giving students a way to give back to their communities. He often works with students from underprivileged  families.

And poverty is something Ramirez can relate to. When he was 4-years-old, he and his family moved to the U.S. from Mexico. He grew up in a 3-bedroom home that he shared with 16 other people.

But he fought hard to overcome adversity and used his life experience to help others.

As a teenager, he got his start volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. Then while as a college student at Notre Dame, a volunteer trip to a migrant shelter in Mexico changed his life.

"That service opportunity empowered me to think i could make a difference in other people’s lives,” he says.

In 2012, Ramirez began working for buildOn.

"I've never seen this as a job. Its my passion, its my calling,” he says.

Ramirez's after-school projects go far beyond Chicago.

Last spring, he and a group of his students trekked all the way to Nicaragua to build a school.

It was a once in a lifetime experience for many of them.

It’s his confidence in his students that make him both a role model and a friend.

Francisco Ramirez, he's one of Chicago's Very own.

BuildOn hass teamed up with 10 Chicago high schools – and since 2005, students have logged nearly 250,000 hours of volunteering.  For more info, log on to: http://www.buildon.org/

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1 Comment

  • ciscos friend

    So proud of Sisco, so disappointed in the grammar errors in this article. Please proofread this and resubmit. It does not do the story justice.

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