A student story of pursuing education in Washington as an immigrant

August 8, 2019

Story 

Citlaly Ramirez is a summer intern at Gov. Jay Inslee’s office. This is a story of how educational opportunities changed her life and can inspire others to seek out similar opportunites. Visit the governor's website to read the Spanish version of this story. Visite el sitio web del gobernador para leer la versión en español de este artículo.

On my first day of third grade, my teacher stood at the front of the classroom and asked me, “What is your name?”

I blankly stared at the teacher. A classmate who sat next to me repeated it to me through a whisper, but this time in Spanish so I could understand: “Cual es tu nombre?”

I responded, “Seet-tla-lee.”

Their conversation faded away and I sat there thinking, ‘What in the world are they saying? Why am I here?’

More than anything, my 8-year-old self felt confused — that’s the word that sticks with me most that day. I wasn’t sure why I had to leave Mexico. All I knew is that I was in a different place, a different country and that I did not speak their language.

That’s the moment that changed my life forever.

Read the rest of the story on the governor's Medium page.

Media Contact 

Tara Lee
Governor Inslee’s Communications Office
360.902.4136