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Advocate editorial board opinion: Education, strong work ethic key to success

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Oct. 5, 2011 at 5:05 a.m.


Long before we decided to call this land Texas, the history of Hispanic achievement began.

Victoria is the result of one such accomplishment - one made by noble empresario Martín De León.

Over the years, there have been countless contributions to our society from Hispanic citizens. Some have become world-renowned in their respective fields of medicine, politics and the arts.

Pablo Ruiz Picasso. Joan Baez. Justice Sonya Sotomayor. Cesar Chavez.

Then there are the quiet heroes who worked just as hard to reach their goals and who have made no less a contribution to society than their well-known forerunners in the Hispanic culture.

Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos is exhibit A.

The youngest of six, raised by parents who immigrated from Mexico, she was the first in her family to pursue a college degree.

The Port Lavaca native was appointed this summer to the federal bench in the Corpus Christi Division of the U.S. Southern District of Texas.

Her parents and older siblings taught her the value of education and of a strong work ethic.

Ramos attended Southwest Texas State University after graduating from Calhoun County High School. She earned a bachelor's degree in education, and later graduated from the University of Texas law school.

After working at a Corpus Christi law firm and serving as a municipal judge, she was elected to the 347th District in 2000.

Nine years later, she saw an opportunity on the federal bench.

She gained the support of President Barack Obama, and the U.S. Senate confirmed her in August.

From a humble beginning, Judge Ramos has forged a pathway to success. Her story - built on the foundation of family support - is an example of what Hispanic Heritage Month is designed to celebrate.

There are about 50 million people in the United States with a Hispanic origin. That's about 16.3 percent of the 308.7 million people in this country, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

So we don't have to look far to see how the Hispanic heritage has made a positive contribution to society.

We offer Judge Ramos as a prime example.

We rest our case.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.

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