Project GRAD Houston's Ramiro Fonseca Wins 2016 Dr. David B. Swedlow Memorial College Access Practitioner Award of Excellence

September 21, 2016

By Allie Ciaramella, Communications Manager 

Ramiro Fonseca of Project GRAD Houston was awarded the Dr. David B. Swedlow Memorial College Access Practitioner Award of Excellence today at NCAN’s 2016 National Conference in Detroit, Michigan.

The Dr. David B. Swedlow Memorial College Access Practitioner Award of Excellence recognizes the dedication, hard work, and innovation of an individual working at a college access program. 

As Program Manager for College Access and Success at Project GRAD Houston, Ramiro has more than 30 years of experience in banking focused on education financing and is an active leader and volunteer at both the local and regional levels for students and families seeking guidance on paying for college and pursuing their career goals.

Ramiro has been a leader at Project GRAD Houston, a nonprofit that helps students from low-income communities develop and achieve their educational aspirations, for the past four years. His recent efforts to advance the organization’s mission include spearheading cafécollege Houston, a community-based college access and success center that’s transforming the city’s most underserved students in sustainable ways. Ramiro trains the College Access Coaches who have provided direct services to thousands of individuals since the center opened in December, while leading and managing workshops, school visits and a partnership that assists juveniles referred to the center through the courts. 

Prior to joining Project GRAD Houston, Ramiro was the college success & tutor coordinator for the TRIO Student Support Services Program at Houston Community College, managed the Minority Male Initiative and served as a Financial Aid Associate for the HCC system. He has also worked for the University of Houston and Sallie Mae, and served on community-focused boards such as Mayor Annise Parker’s Hispanic Advisory Board and the Houston Police Department Positive Interaction Program.

Ramiro will receive $1,000 to put toward professional development. The award was named for Dr. Swedlow, former NCAN Director of Programs, after his passing and in honor of his commitment to the cause of college access.

NCAN solicits nominees from its membership for the annual Awards of Excellence in College Access and Success. A committee of NCAN members reviews all nominations, with final decisions confirmed by the NCAN board of directors. NCAN thanks the five members of the 2016 Awards Committee for their service:

  • Cat Horzewski, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee
  • Roxanne Mendez, The Riordan Programs at UCLA Anderson School of Management
  • Lauren Olsen, Rutgers University
  • Robbie Stabeno, Waco Foundation/MAC Scholarship Program
  • Tina Wirth, Earn Up

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