Rifle grandma gets college honor 16 years later | SummitDaily.com

Rifle grandma gets college honor 16 years later

Citizen Telegram Staff

RIFLE ” Teresa Ibarra-Ramirez didn’t attend her college graduation from Salt Lake Community College in 1992.

Sixteen years later, she was honored as a distinguished alumni on April 30 with the class of 2008.

It was a grand gesture for the Rifle resident.

“It was kind of fun to participate in the commencement,” she said. “Mostly because I didn’t even go to my own graduation.”

After finishing her degree in December 1992, she didn’t see any point in returning for the commencement ceremony, because she was a single mother and had to support three kids. Since she also worked two jobs and received two degrees in accounting and credit finance, the college decided to give her the honor. But she felt a little humbled just being nominated.

“To give me that award, the way I put it, I can’t see being honored for what I did,” Ibarra-Ramirez said. “I had no choice, I just did what I had to do.”

In November 2007, Ibarra-Ramirez learned she won a college scholarship for her 8-year-old granddaughter, Isadora, through an essay writing contest hosted by College Invest. She hopes to teach her granddaughter the importance of education.

To Ibarra-Ramirez, there is no choice when it comes to family.

“My motto in life is, ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way’,” Ibarra-Ramirez said. “People blame others for their situations in life. But I don’t blame society for anything. I take every experience that’s happened in my life and taught me a lesson. They’ve all happened for a reason.”

Ibarra-Ramirez is now raising two of her daughter’s five children. She took her grandchildren, 10-year-old Vidal Ramos, and Isadora with her to the ceremony.

“I’m a survivor, I’m not a victim,” Ibarra-Ramirez said. “For me, that is the only way to look at life.”

Contact John Gardner at 384-9114 or by E-mail at jgardner@citizentelegram.com.

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