Closing out his high school career with a long list of extracurricular activities on his résumé — including the Chess Club, National Honors Society, Engineering Club and student government — Alexis Ramos also shared the title of salutatorian of the Rio Rico High School Class of 2019.
The standout student now prepares to take the next step at Arizona State University’s Polytechnic Campus, where he will dive into the aeronautical management major.
“I’m going to go study and get my certifications to be a pilot,” Ramos said. “Hopefully at some point in my life I can be an airline pilot, so I can travel the world. Rio Rico is nice, but it’s really lonely.”
Even though one of his dreams is to fly away from his hometown, he gave credit to his community for instilling values that helped him achieve his previous goals.
He singled out his former German teacher and chess coach Rene Ramirez, as well as his agriculture teacher Richard McPherson, as the two most impactful educators during his high school years.
“(Mr. Ramirez) really got us used to what it was to be a freshman in high school, where you weren’t going to be walked through every circumstance anymore,” he said, adding that McPherson gave him “a sense of discipline and responsibility.”
During his free time, Ramos said, he enjoyed working in his dad’s welding shop, helping him make doors, gates and fences.
One of the things he will miss most about high school will be being able to spend time with his friends every day of the week, whether it was for studying, school trips or just hanging out on the weekends.
Ramos added that his group of friends also provided friendly competition and a healthy work environment, as they were always up for both studying or taking a break from school.
“I find it fun to compete with my friends to see who gets better grades or the highest scores because that kind of challenges us,” he said. “I think, as students, we all relish in having success and fun at the same time.”
But the people that he attributes the biggest part of his success and opportunities to are his parents. Growing up, he said, he noticed how both parents always worked to provide a better future for the family after immigrating from Mexico.
“Their effort definitely makes it possible for me to succeed,” he said, adding that he sees his own family reflected in many of the people in his hometown. “I think everybody here takes after their parents, who are normally immigrants, so they all have that sense of duty and diligence.”