Tania Ramos is from Guadalajara, Mexico and now she is an 11th Grader at HS in Maryvale Phoenix, AZ, where she is the Junior Class President and a member of the National Honor Society. Tania is an active leader and change agent in her community, volunteering at several organizations including Trees Matter and Bloom365. “As a trainee for a nonprofit organization called Bloom 365. We work to prevent interpersonal violence in teen dating relationships and advocate for that and just learn more leadership and advocating skills. I love to do peer advocating and now see how I can use the ATHENA Program in this work.”

If given the opportunity, Tania says she would like to change how people view themselves or self-image. “This is important to me because I believe change starts within myself. In order for that to happen, you have to set the bar high of how you see and view yourself, your body image and self-image. In general it is just how you set your goals and what you want to achieve is super important for people. This helps people build better relationships and a stronger community.”  

Tania describes one of the hardest lessons is to never give up. “I had a lot of medical problems and so learning to cope with that for three years was difficult. Now I try to think of it as not affecting me but it was still hard to learn to overcome. If I hadn’t been through that, I would not be where I am today”.

Once she got into high school, Tania felt that she became her authentic self because it was a fresh new start. “I didn’t know anyone at my high school so I felt that I could focus on myself and learn a lot more. Being able to do things I never imagined and have a fresh new start was great.” 

Paying it forward is important to her because “In order to get more out of it and receive more, you have to give first. It helps me grow more as a person, learn more and stay humble. I’m getting to know a lot of people along the way and learning new things. I have a quote that I like that it’s in Spanish, “Más vale sólo que mal acompañado”. You’re not always going to be surrounded by people that match your same energy or always have that one thing that makes you happy so in order to be able to succeed and learn sometimes you have to learn to be on your own and step up for yourself.”

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