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Chico State

Perseverance and Push from Professors Propel Future History Teacher

Jorge Munguia Ramos poses for a photo wearing a blue shirt with a small white pattern.
(Jason Halley / University Photographer)

In the coming weeks, we will be celebrating the accomplishments and stories behind 2024’s Lt. Rawlins Merit Scholarship Recipients. The award—one of the largest and most prestigious at Chico State—celebrates scholarship, extracurricular activities, and outstanding academic, and professional accomplishments.

During his first week in Chico, Jorge Munguia Ramos wondered if he had made a terrible mistake. Being away from home was hard. He was lonely.

“I wanted to go back home, but I just kept thinking, ‘I have to do this for my family’,” Munguia Ramos recalls.

Munguia Ramos’ parents moved him and his family from Mexico to Portola when he was four. He excelled academically throughout high school and earned the Outstanding Performance in Business award at Feather River Community College.

However, moving to Chico marked his first time away from home.

“I remember working on my first big history paper and thinking, ‘I don’t know if I can do this’,” Munguia Ramos recalls. “’Maybe I did well in community college, but this is the big leagues and I’m not up for the challenge.’”

Munguia Ramos not only stayed, he thrived, graduating with a history degree and 4.0 GPA in December. This spring he begins the credential program—the final step in his quest to become a history teacher. Munguia Ramos credits his professors for pushing him to get involved and the community he found in the history club and at the Dream Center for providing him with the encouragement that he desperately needed.

“College can be an uphill battle,” Munguia Ramos said. “Some people struggle academically, some struggle financially, and some struggle to find community. I feel like I am part of two communities: One at the Dream Center and one in the history club. Between the two of them, I’ve found what I need in every area.”

Munguia Ramos loves helping others find community too. It’s a responsibility he takes seriously as the treasurer of the history club, student ambassador for the history department, and student assistant at the Dream Center. He doesn’t want others to experience the loneliness and doubt he did as a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) student. Munguia Ramos empathizes with the DACA students he works with and challenges they face—and relishes the opportunity to help them find resources, renew their paperwork, apply for aid, and even pursue the opportunity to visit family, some for the first time.

“It means a lot to work with a community so close to my heart,” Munguia Ramos said.

What does this scholarship mean to you and what will it allow you to accomplish? 

Above all, it helps me out a lot financially. It’s money I can set aside for the credential program and will help me accomplish my dream of being a high school history teacher one day. But it also means a lot to me because it proves to me that I’ve been putting in the work. Sometimes you don’t really see the rewards or outcomes and you wonder if there’s more you can give, but this Rawlins award shows me that I’ve been doing the right things, and that I can be proud of myself.

What opportunities to gain hands-on work experience have you received at Chico State? 

I’ve taken a lot of education classes where we prepare presentations that comply with California State standards. I love starting discussions and debates and I feel like when I’m given the opportunity, I can come up with some really thoughtful discussion questions. I love seeing my classmates’ brains working.

What’s a subject you could put together a compelling PowerPoint presentation about?

I’m big into the Mexican Soccer League. I could give you who won what year, what’s happening right now, and who’s the favorite to win the championship.

(Munguia Ramos’ favorite team is Club America.)