Emily LaVelle ’14
When Azusa Pacific University alumna Margarita Ramirez ’12 faced a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to accept a prestigious Fulbright fellowship award, her response was met with both excitement and hesitation.
After moving to America from Mexico at just 10 years old, Margarita learned early on the value of education, even when financial means were not available. The youngest in her family, she worked hard to be the first to attend college. Her perseverance and a scholarship to Azusa Pacific opened the doors for her to pursue her dreams as a political science major, where she continued to succeed and deepen her love of learning under the guidance of APU faculty mentors.
I fell in love with the freedom that there is in being a Christian scholar who can ask the difficult questions.
Pursuing a Fulbright Scholarship in Portugal following graduation from APU meant new opportunities and continued learning, yet accepting the award would mean living abroad for a year, away from the safety and comfort of family. Under the counsel of professors and with encouragement from family, Margarita accepted the scholarship and answered the call to exercise the gift God had given her.
“I feel so close to God when I learn and when I am being a scholar. Not only because I am using my reason that He has given me, but because I am doing the thing that He made me to do.”
Now, this first-generation college graduate and Fulbright Scholar is continuing to follow God’s leading and further her learning by pursuing a Ph.D. at Georgetown University. She knows from experience that dreams can be achieved when you reach for opportunities, find those who will guide you along the way, and have faith that God will open the door to more than you can imagine.
Read more of Margarita’s story in the APU Life article, "Obedient Scholar."