Ramiro was raised in Washington; he is a second-generation Mexican American. During Ramiro’s childhood, he stayed with his father during the summer in eastern Washington and worked at the ranch his father owned. “It conditioned me to be able to work in all types of weather,” Ramiro said.  He credits his father and family for instilling a strong work ethic in him. Ramiro got his first official job at 16 and enjoyed working. He worked his way into many professions, from food service to roofing, car detailing, and construction.  In his 20s and 30s, Ramiro had two children, a daughter, and a son. A few months after his second child was born, Ramiro caught the flu. One of the nights he was sick, he got up to go lay down in his bed. As he went to lie down, he slipped off the bed and hit his head on the wall. The blow to his head paralyzed him. Ramiro spent the first year after being paralyzed recovering from a broken neck. After about a year he started to attend physical therapy. With about 4 years of intensive physical therapy, and Ramiro’s determination to not give up, he was walking again. The relief he felt was indescribable. He was finally able to get around by himself, and most importantly, play with his son.

Photo of a man in a hoodie and coat, standing in front of a wood wall and colorful ball sculpture.

Ramiro felt an itch to get back to work. He decided to visit WorkSource and met with a man who works with disabled clients. To his surprise, the caseworker was disabled as well. It made Ramiro feel seen and motivated him to take on his next challenge. His caseworker suggested The HopeWorks Job Training Program to Ramiro. He jumped at the chance. He met with Jerron to see if it would be a good fit and already felt welcomed. Because of his previous experience, Ramiro decided to go into the Ground Works program. Every day that Ramiro went in he was on time and ready to go. He felt grateful to be able to get up every day and prove to himself that he could do a manual job. At Ramiro’s graduation, he was recognized for his determination, skill, and teamwork. “You have the best energy and you’re so kind.” Luke, Ramiro’s trainer said about him. He worked well with his fellow trainees in the program and motivated the people around him through the cold winter weather they had to work in. “I was impressed from the very beginning. He understands his opportunities and that success is in his hands.” Luke said about Ramiro. Ramiro has options lined up for him, he is going to apply at Boeing or work at Ground Works starting in the spring.