This week’s Student Spotlight is shining on Ricky Ramirez, a worship leadership major from San Antonio, and the incredible journey he has been on throughout his college career.
Ramirez chose to further his education at Hardin-Simmons University because of his passion for music, specifically in HSU’s choir program. He shared how his high school choir director graduated from HSU and his relationship with former HSU faculty member, Dr. Clell Wright, made an impact on his decision to come to HSU as well.
Ramirez’s story is one of strength, revival and redemption. Ramirez opened up about when he first came to college he could not find a church that made him feel the same way his church from San Antonio made him feel. For about two years, he stopped going to church. Then in December of 2017, Ramirez’s dad passed away, which made a huge impact on everything that was to follow. In March of 2018 Ramirez became an alcoholic.
“It was all I ever wanted to do. I was mad at God and wanted nothing to do with Him. I knew He was there but I was angry. Why would He do this? It didn’t make sense,” Ramirez said.
In July of 2019, Ramirez was arrested for driving under the influence. But through these tragic events, Ramirez began to depend more on God and community than ever before. “While on the floor, I cried out to God and said, ‘I’m tired of doing what I’m doing. If there’s more than this, you have to show me because I can’t keep going on this way,’” Ramirez said.
A month later Ramirez became plugged into the church he attends to this day. He shared how he joined the music team there, since music has always been a passion of his. It was at this point that Ramirez rededicated his life to Christ.
“I took a year off from school during 2020 to 2021 to focus on my relationship with God and find out who He wanted me to be rather than what I want myself to be,” said Ramirez, who refers to himself as a super-senior. That is where Ricky stands today: stronger, healthier and closer to his community and the Lord more now than he has ever been before.
When asked who here at HSU has made a significant impact on Ramirez’s life, he responded with former HSU faculty member, Dr. Clell Wright, and current Director of Media Services, Dr. Greg Hollabaugh.
“I started working for Greg on the media team shortly after all that as well. Soon after, I met Tiffany Stotts who has also made an impact on me,” Ramirez said.
When asked what his favorite thing about HSU is, Ramirez responded, “community.” He mentioned how he auditioned for the school of music at two places: Texas Tech University and Hardin-Simmons. When comparing his initial experiences on both campuses, Ramirez reflected on the fact that the community at HSU seemed much more genuine and caring.
“When I came to HSU to audition, the very first thing I did was sit in Dr. Wright’s office and eat burritos with him. I hadn’t felt that sense of welcome and care anywhere else,” Ramirez said.
Ricky Ramirez’s story is a powerful one, revealing the hope and healing brought by our Heavenly Father. Ramirez explained how God puts us through our struggles and sufferings to make us relatable.
“One thing I heard in my time of prayer and worship was that there is someone going through exactly what God got me out of,” Ramirez said. “We can make it out and as the Bible says to go and make disciples, we take our experiences with us and go out to help and guide others.”
This is the journey that Ricky takes on now.