Fred and Roxanne Ramirez, founder and owners of CNF Technologies, have always been generous community donors, but this year they extended their contributions beyond San Antonio, Texas and back to their roots and alma mater.
The idea of creating a scholarship fund came after Fred was inducted into the 2021-2022 Javelina Engineering Hall of Fame. Each year Texas A&M University-Kingsville recognizes graduates of the Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering who have made a significant impact in the field of engineering. The Javelina Engineering Hall of Fame designation was presented to Fred for demonstrating a longtime and successful commitment to his career and community bringing special honor to the College of Engineering because of his accomplishments.
“I wanted to give back to a school that gave me my start,” Fred said as he recalled his studies and opportunities of the past. “I hope in some small way, I can pay it forward for another Javelina with financial support and mentorship.”
Many applicants applied, but Sandra Barrera, a first-generation college student, was chosen to receive the $10,000 scholarship. Awarded in the 2023 Spring semester, Sandra is thankful to have kind donors who are committed to supporting education.
Pictured: Sandra Barrera, Civil Engineering Major
In expressing her appreciation to the Ramirez family, Sandra said, “Words cannot express the gratitude I feel for your generosity and supporting my education. Your kindness has given me the opportunity to further my skills and pursue my dreams. I will work hard to make the most of this and fulfill my potential. I am deeply thankful for your compassion and the confidence you have shown in me. Thank you for making a tremendous difference in my life and for your unwavering commitment to supporting education. Your kindness will always be remembered and appreciated.”
Roxanne, known for her passion of creating opportunities and mentoring girls and young women into STEM fields said, “Fred and I enthusiastically established the CNF Technologies & Ramirez Family Scholarship to offer a student at Texas A&M University-Kingsville both financial support and encouragement to continue in a field we’ve had much success in.”
Roxanne and Sandra also share the same high school alma maters. “We both graduated from Raymondville High School and I’m so excited the scholarship was awarded to and earned by a fellow Bearkat! It really makes the award feel full-circle,” stated Roxanne.
An honorary luncheon to celebrate the donors and recipient will be hosted by Texas A&M University-Kingsville in the Spring of 2023.
Picture: Fred and Roxanne Ramirez with TAMUK President Dr. Robert Vela
To read more on Fred Ramirez’s Hall of Fame induction, please visit Fred Ramirez Inducted into Texas A&M Kingsville Hall of Fame – CNF Technologies
To learn more about the recipient, please read below.
Get to Know the Sandra.
My name is Sandra Barrera, and I am a student studying civil engineering at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. I am an ambitious and hardworking person with a passion for engineering and learning. I am a first-generation student who is paying for college completely on my own. I knew at a young age if I wanted to graduate, I needed to work for it because my family couldn’t afford it, and that is what I am doing. Thank you so much for the contributions you all make to ensuring students like me can succeed. My entire family and I appreciate your generosity.
What Influenced Sandra to Choose Her Major?
I chose Civil Engineering because of my passion for the precision there is to math. Ever since I was a child, I have always been fascinated by numbers, patterns, and was very curious as to “why” things worked. As a kid in 1st grade while I was learning to add, I taught myself how to multiply and divide because it was “common sense.” In middle school my favorite class was math because the equations had a definite answer but there were multiple techniques to get there. As I grew older and learned more about math and the combination of it with science, I realized how impactful and meaningful it would be for me to keep learning.
Additionally, my experiences with the STEM club at my high school solidified my decision to pursue a career in this field because it exposed me to all the possibilities I could pursue. I was inspired by the Stormwater Conference where I had the opportunity to learn about all the different career opportunities with civil engineering and I realized that it was exactly what I wanted to do. Civil engineers also have a great positive impact on many people’s lives, which solidified my decision.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to study and work in this field and I’m eager to continue learning and finding my contributions to society. I am confident that this is the right path for me, and I am excited for what the future holds.
What Does Receiving this Scholarship Mean to Sandra?
Receiving this scholarship is a tremendous honor and means the world to me. It is a recognition of my hard work and dedication, and a testament to the belief others have in me and my potential. As I mentioned, I am not receiving any financial help from home. The second I got to high school I knew that if I wanted a post-secondary education, I would have to do my best to keep my grades up for scholarships and work a lot to save up. My senior year I worked three jobs at once just so I could have enough to help at home and save up for college. This scholarship will ease some of the financial burden that comes with pursuing higher education and allow me to focus on my studies without the stress of worrying about finances. It will give me the opportunity to fully immerse myself in my studies and take advantage of all the resources and opportunities available to me. I am grateful for this investment in my future, and I promise to make the most of this opportunity. I will work hard to honor the scholarship by striving for academic excellence and giving back to my community in meaningful ways.
Share Why You Chose to Attend Texas A&M University Kingsville.
When I was in high school, I took dual enrollment classes through Texas A&M University-Kingsville. This allowed me to be exposed to all the opportunities TAMUK had to offer. We went on many campus tours and events that would just excite me to continue my education here even more. Getting to know the advisors and the students before attending allowed me to create a connection which helped me when applying for universities. As a first-generation student, I did the entire application process and FAFSA by myself because my parents had no clue what to do. The advisors here helped me with that process so much and would reach out to me with scholarships I could apply to. Another reason I chose to come here is because I’m not too far from my family. The second I got to campus my freshman year I knew I had made the best choice for myself. TAMUK felt like a second home and I felt like a student instead of just a number. Having smaller classes allowed me to create better connections with other students and faculty members.
I am so glad I chose Kingsville because from the second I got here I have had many opportunities for scholarships, internships, and work. My advisor and other students have made living here in Kingsville the best, and have helped me realize that I can-and will-be the first person in my family to graduate college!