For Elizabeth Ramos, serving those less fortunate than herself comes naturally.
Growing up in Tijuana and then moving with her family to Chula Vista at age 13, she was no stranger to the pressures of every-day living, even to poverty.
“I always wanted to work in a field where I could help people like myself,” said Ramos, a UC San Diego graduate who has devoted her professional life to social work. “I serve a high-risk population, but I feel that I’m able to bring some sunshine into their lives.”
In tribute to her dedicated service, Ramos has been awarded UC San Diego Extension’s quarterly “Change the World” scholarship, a gift of $3,000.
Now a program therapist with Home Start, Inc., a San Diego-based social services agency, Ramos, 30, specializes in treating behavioral issues and trauma faced by at-risk children and their parents. Some of her younger clients have developmental disabilities.
She intends to use her scholarship funds to pursue a Professional Certificate in “Play Therapy” at UC San Diego Extension.
“We know that children learn through play, that toys are like a child’s words,” she said. “Plus, earning a certificate in Play Therapy will be very relevant to the kind of clinical work that I do.”
Originally a Bio Studies major at UC San Diego, she graduated with a degree in Critical Gender Studies, a field she says “enabled me to understand the world better, especially from a feminine perspective.”
Ramos, who describes herself as “very motivated to heal individuals, families and communities,” also holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Chicago. She’s now pursuing a state license in clinical social work.
“Change the World” Scholarship Program:
Eligibility: All persons who have received a bachelor’s degree or a graduate degree from any University of California campus are eligible.
Conditions: Scholarships are automatically renewed, provided the recipient continues to pass their coursework and remains active in the certificate program. Scholarships cover tuition only, are non-transferable and carry no cash value.
Award schedule: Scholarships are awarded each academic quarter. Applications must be received by January 15, April 15, July 15, or October 15. Recipients and non-recipients are notified by email by March 15, June 15, September 15 and December 15.
Selection process: Applications will be considered for the upcoming quarter. The UC San Diego Extension Scholarship Committee will review scholarship applications four times a year and reserves the right not to award a scholarship.
On-line application here.