The California School-Age Consortium is proud to highlight Betty Ramirez from CalSAC's Leadership Development Institute 360°/365 fellowship. Betty is a leader who has demonstrated unrivaled commitment to the field and drive for advanced leadership in the out-of-school time and early learning field.
Betty Ramirez oversees the San José Youth Commission for the City of San José. She first started her career with the City of San José as an Outreach Worker II in the Youth Employment Service program for underprivileged youth. She revamped the program to include a series of workshops she called PREP - Preparation, Resilience, Education, and Passion. The workshops and trainings equipped the young people with interpersonal skills and encouragement to achieve their goals. During that time, she recalls receiving a letter from a young man informing her that he was accepted to Santa Clara University. He wanted to inform her that, although he wanted to give up and just be another statistic, he remembered Bettys’ advice, and because of her advice and constant support and encouragement he achieved his goal of going back to school after overcoming some difficult obstacles in his life.
Betty’s continual support of young people is now seen through the San Jose Youth Commission. Her support and encouragement has enable high school students to see themselves as true leaders of not only tomorrow, but of today. Many such leaders have gone on to four-year universities and some now are fulfilling their dreams as policy makers in local government offices throughout the country.
Through her work with the youth commission she has spread headed the first ever city-wide annual youth conference for the City of San José. Since its commencement ten years ago, the youth conference has had themes involving youth in community service to youth entrepreneurship, to youth in education, and environment. She has expanded the Youth Commission opportunity to all youth within the city by creating Youth Advisory Council’s groups in each city district. She also created the Youth Commission Summer internship program. Betty believes that by exposing youth to real world issues early in their life, youth will be better prepared to take on these issues and make the necessary changes to create a better future for us all.
Through her work with youth, Betty has been invited to speak to middle school students, high school students, and students in county-wide leadership programs. She also recently completed the CalSAC Training of Trainers program and is now a CalSAC Certified trainer for afterschool programs and agencies. She has conducted workshops for agencies such as the Boys and Girls Club, and Catholic Charities to name a few. She is also training afterschool agencies as part of the CalSAC Science Action Club and is working with agencies to bring STEM curriculum into their programs.
Besides all of that, Betty is an avid hiker and loves the outdoors. She is working towards achieving her personal goal of obtaining her degree in Theology. She loves to travel and do mission work in third world countries. Her mode in life is, love fully, laugh fully, and enjoy the journey of touching those near you deeply.