Honored Ex gives back through scholarships
Because he has raised money the past 10 years for scholarships for Bel Air students, Mario Ramirez was chosen as this year’s Honored Ex. Ramirez, along with some other alumni, started the Bel Air Alumni Association. This association organizes fundraisers for scholarship money that it uses to help graduating seniors.
Ramirez was nominated by Claudia Lopez, who is also a member of the Bel Air Alumni Association.
“Mario Ramirez, a graduate of the Class of 1985 is a prime example of a proud ‘Loyal Forever’ Highlander,” Lopez said.
At the Homecoming game Ramirez said he always knew he would come back to Bel Air and figure some way to give back to the students, and he has. Ten years ago he helped to set up a golf tournament to fundraise for scholarships for Bel Air students. The alumni association grew out of this, and now its members fundraise and give helping hands to students every year.
“His constant enthusiasm and involvement has turned his efforts into a community wide support,” Lopez said.
Though he was honored at Homecoming, according to Rick Ramirez, Mario Ramirez’s brother, it wasn’t really a homecoming, because he never left. Mario Ramirez grew up in the neighborhood and has been part of the community his whole life.
“[Mario Ramirez] is just dedicated. Dedicated to Bel Air, dedicated to its students, dedicated to the community,” Lopez said.
In addition to supporting the community Mario Ramirez, along with the entire Bel Air Alumni Association, acts as “an influential driving force” that encourages students to give back to the BAHS community after they graduate, Lopez said.
By Sienna Mata