Hamilton Holt School graduate Kenther Ramos ’13 recently became the Holt School’s first Fulbright Scholar.
Ramos’ educational journey began in Venezuela where he graduated early from high school and, at the age of 16, was admitted to study law at Universidad Catolica Andres Bello in Caracus. He was kidnapped and held hostage for more than 20 hours in the basement of the Venezuelan government's intelligence agency for organizing protests against the government of then-president Hugo Chavez.
Friends and political allies pressured the government for his release and his mother was subsequently able to get him to the U.S. Embassy. He was granted political asylum and came to Miami in 2004, with no knowledge of the English language and $40 in his pocket.
Ramos contacted a cousin in Orlando who agreed to let him stay with her, acquired a job as a baker at Dunkin Donuts, and quickly worked his way through the ranks to be named store manager in 2007. While working more than 50 hours per week, Ramos took classes at Valencia College. He graduated with honors from Valencia in 2009.
Rollins College awarded Ramos a scholarship to the Hamilton Holt School and he graduated summa cum laude in 2013. He has since become the regional training and loss prevention manager for Dunkin’ Donuts.
Jayashree Shivamoggi, director of external and competitive scholarships at Rollins, describes Ramos as one of the most inspiring students that she has ever met. Ramos' spot in York University's master’s degree program in applied human rights represents one of the most highly-competitive scholarship awards. This year, 1,036 American college students competed for 36 Fulbright spots in the United Kingdom.
Ramos' career aspirations are to continue fighting for social justice and the rights of others. At a recent Hamilton Holt School luncheon to honor his accomplishments he spoke about the importance of educational opportunities and scholarship support for deserving students in need.