I first became involved with the Fulfillment Fund in the 8th grade. Truth be told, I had no idea that I had just hit the jackpot and that my life would change forever.
My mentor and the Fulfillment Fund were there during the break up of my family; when my mother suddenly found herself a single mother with eight children and relied on me to help run the household. I wanted to go to college but it seemed impossible.
Then my mentor took me to the Fulfillment Fund’s Destination College. That day a little light lit up inside of me, and the dream of going to college started to become more of a reality. The Fulfillment Fund also took me outside of California and made sure that I was aware of other options.
When I presented my college choices to my high school counselor, he looked at my list and said I would be wasting my time and money applying to all but one of the local colleges in my list. Without thinking twice, I went to the Fulfillment Fund’s college counselor who encouraged to me to continue with my plans.
Without much hesitation I chose Smith College. The fact that I was the first member of my family to go to college and the first to leave the nest so young made my mother very apprehensive about letting me go. The Fulfillment Fund understood this and made it possible for my mother to speak to other parents who helped explain the process of letting go. These parents and the rest of the Fulfillment Fund were in constant contact with my family.
During my time at Smith College, I received the Fulfillment Fund college scholarship, and they were great about checking up on me throughout my entire undergraduate career.
At first, I lived in fear that the Smith admissions office would come knocking at my door and tell me that they made a mistake. One day, out of the blue, I got an email from the admissions office. The Fulfillment Fund had told them about my ridiculous fear and they all wanted to make sure that I knew that I belonged there.
The Fulfillment Fund was with me during my undergraduate career and albeit unknowingly, served as my driving force during my graduate studies. As of the fall 2012 I will be the happy recipient of a Masters in Public Health from Benedictine University; one of my biggest accomplishments to date. As I continue to move up the ranks of corporate America, one of my goals is to be able to create internship opportunities for Fulfillment Fund college students. Another one of my long term goals is to become a wonderful mentor for the Fulfillment Fund. I only hope that I can be at least half the mentor I had.
Nancy Ramirez, a graduate of Smith College, is Supervisor of Product Safety Surveillance at Herbalife, where she is responsible for overseeing report collection and supporting safety surveillance in 80+ markets where Herbalife products are commercialized. She will receive her master's degree in public health from Benedictine University in fall 2012.