UB Alumna Spotlight: Ingri Ramirez-Martin

Ingri Ramirez-Martin
Ingri Ramirez-Martin

First-Generation College Celebration Sunday, November 8, 2020

The following is an excerpt from a Council for Opportunity in Education, Center for First-generation Student Success and NASPA media release:

First-Generation College Celebration Advances National Narrative as Pandemic Academic Disruptions Threaten Student Futures

November 8 was selected as the date for the annual National First-Generation College Celebration to honor the anniversary of the signing of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

For the past four years institutions from across the nation celebrated first-generation students, faculty, and staff on November 8 and highlighted the important contributions made within the campus communities.

Stemming from the continued success, the Council for Opportunity for Education (COE), in partnership with the Center for First-generation Student Success, an initiative of NASPA and The Suder Foundation, is pleased to announce the continuation of the First-Generation College Celebration on November 8, 2020. This date marks the 55th anniversary of the signing of the 1965 Higher Education Act (HEA), which has helped millions of first-generation, low-income/under-resources students persist to degree completion.

“Academic disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic place the futures of many first-generation students in a precarious state,” said Maureen Hoyler, president of the Council for Opportunity in Education. “However, in 2020, resilient campuses and communities are overcoming challenges and finding renewed strength each day. Now more than ever it’s critical we use this celebration to recommit to supporting, nurturing and encouraging the outstanding potential that exists within so many first-generation students.”


The DCTC News story below was first published June 24, 2019:

UB Alumna Spotlight: Ingri Ramirez-Martin

South St. Paul grad awarded Summer Bridge Promise Grant to Augsburg

Ingri Ramirez-Martin, 18, a 2019 graduate of South St. Paul High School in South St. Paul, Minnesota, received a Summer Bridge Promise Grant, an award that covers the full cost of her tuition for four years at Augsburg University. Ingri is a TRIO Upward Bound student through a federally funded program at Dakota County Technical College.

“Thanks for making my dreams a reality,” Ingri said in response to receiving the grant. “I can’t thank you enough. You’ve not only made me very happy, but my parents as well.”



A first-generation college student, Ingri will start at Augsburg this summer via the university’s TRIO/Student Support Services (SSS) Summer Bridge Program. She will begin the program in early July by moving into a dorm on campus and getting acclimated to college life through workshops, seminars and activities. She’ll also be taking two classes, Religion, Vocation, and the Search for Meaning as well as Public Speaking.

Ingri plans to major in biology with a minor in music education at Augsburg. She has been recruited to compete on the Auggies women’s cross country team—she was on the Packers cross country team in high school. She’s interested in checking out other sports at Augsburg, including lacrosse and track and field. Ingri is fluent in Spanish—her parents are originally from Guatemala—and would like to become involved with a Hispanic organization at the university.

Ingri’s future academic and career plans are centered on continuing her education in medical school. Her goal is to become a heart surgeon.

What is the TRIO/Student Support Services Summer Bridge Program

Augsburg TRIO/SSS allows up to 25 admitted first-year students to get a head start on their Augsburg education. During this five-week residential program students take two college courses for credit and attend academic support seminars, workshops, and other activities to help provide for a smooth transition to Augsburg in the fall.

Summer Bridge participants will also participate in the academic year component of TRIO/SSS while enrolled at Augsburg.


More about Ingri…

Ingri was born in Seaford, Delaware, and later moved with her family to Sioux City, Iowa, before settling in West St. Paul, Minnesota. Ingri’s dad, Max installs sprinkler systems in houses; her mom, Reyna, is a daycare teacher. Both Max and Reyna are from San Marcos, Guatemala. Ingri has three younger siblings, José, 17, Max, 15, and Emanuel, 6. She would like to have a pet—and a bunny is in the works.

As a student at South St. Paul High School, Ingri ran varsity cross country and competed on the Speech Team. She belonged to the Black Pride Organization and Comunidad De Latinos Unidos. She plays acoustic guitar and sings, performing Christian worship songs in Spanish and English.

Ingri works at Home Depot during holiday events. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends. She also enjoys participating in activities at her church. Ingri resides in West St. Paul, but will be moving into a dorm on the Augsburg Minneapolis campus this summer.

Ingri Ramirez-Martin Q & A

Ingri Ramirez Martin

Ingri Ramirez-Martin

What did you like best about Upward Bound?
My advisor, Tony Harsh, picked me up and encouraged me. He brought out the best in me. I struggled financially and emotionally and just wanted to quit, but my advisor never gave up on me. Upward Bound got me into the Summer Bridge program at Augsburg.

How has Upward Bound prepared you for college?
Upward Bound prepared me mentally and physically. My advisor showed me how I could keep from procrastinating and falling behind. I started in Upward Bound in the ninth grade. I went on so many college campus tours I can’t remember them all.

Three words that describe you as an Upward Bound alum:

What advice would you give students thinking about enrolling in Upward Bound?
Go for it and accept help from your advisor, but don’t take advantage of the program—always give your best.

What person has influenced you the most in life?
My dad, Max. He really wants me to graduate from college.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Working as a heart surgeon at a hospital in Minnesota.

About TRIO Upward Bound

Upward Bound is part of the family of Federal TRIO programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education. TRIO programs ensure equal educational opportunities for all students by providing skills and information needed to overcome class, social and cultural barriers to higher education.

Upward Bound helps students succeed academically by giving them the tools they need to first graduate from high school before enrolling in and graduating from college. Upward Bound participants have “college potential,” but are often unaware of the academic and career options beyond high school.


  • A motivational program based on academics, Upward Bound assists high school students with graduation requirements while preparing them for enrollment in and eventual completion of postsecondary education.
  • Funded by the U.S. Department of Education and sponsored by Dakota County Technical College, Upward Bound serves 50 students in grades 9–12 from Henry Sibley and South St. Paul high schools, and 60 students from Burnsville High School.
  • All qualified students are encouraged to apply.
    • Our policy obliges us to accept students who best conform to the program’s federal guidelines.
    • Applications are available through the Guidance Offices.
    • We will accept students who best conform to the program’s federal income guidelines, first-generation in the family to attend college, and potential for success in a college program of study.


  • Academic tutoring
  • Personal enrichment workshops
  • Stipend (money) during the academic year and summer months based on attendance and academic performance
  • One-on-one mentoring with an academic/career advisor
  • After-school program sessions twice a week
  • Six-week summer program at DCTC with math, science, English, foreign language, computer skills and study skills classes
  • Assistance with college entrance requirements
  • Parent/guardian support and assistance in matters affecting the student’s educational progress
  • Fun cultural, social and career-oriented field trips
  • Access to computer-based career and postsecondary educational information
  • Financial aid and scholarship information and assistance
  • Opportunities to meet many new friends who share the goal of a college education

Ingri Ramirez-Martin 12 Answers

  1. Favorite sport or physical activity: Running for fun and playing soccer.
  2. Place you would most like to visit: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  3. The most exciting thing you’ve ever done: I went on a trip to Puerto Rico with Upward Bound.
  4. Three things you would do if you won a $1 billion lottery: 1) Buy my parents a house with lots of land 2)  Send money to family in Guatemala 3) Buy a giraffe
  5. Favorite TV show you’re watching now: The Big Bang Theory
  6. Best movie you’ve seen lately: Shazam!
  7. One thing you most want to accomplish in life: Help my parents and save lives as a heart surgeon
  8. Your national bird if you could have one: Red-tailed hawk
  9. Dream occupation: Singer/songwriter/guitarist
  10. Person you would most like to meet: Zac Efron
  11. Skill you would most like to learn and master: Photographic memory
  12. Most important issue or problem facing humankind: Discrimination
Learn more about TRIO Upward Bound at DCTC by contacting:

Caitlin Siefkes
Director of TRIO/Upward Bound
Dakota County Technical College

¹ Courtesy of Augsburg University