FRESNO, California (KSEE/KGPE) – Six students were chosen to receive the Janessa Ramirez scholarship from the Foundation at Central Schools. Today, we feature Emely Calderon, one of the phenomenal students receiving the award in remembrance of Janessa Ramirez.
Janessa Ramirez was in the fourth grade at Steinbeck Elementary before getting killed by a stray bullet in a crossfire gang dispute in 2015 while she was standing in front of a laundromat in West Central Fresno. Years later, her mother talks about Janessa’s impact.
“It’s never going to go away. I tell people I get calls still when anything happens with gun violence. Like Chief Dyer says, ‘Stacey, she’s Fresno’s baby and she’ll be forever known,’” said Janessa’s mom, Stacey Gonzales.
Her memory lives on through the Central Unified School District as its Foundation is in its fourth year awarding scholarships in Janessa’s name.
“We want students that are doing this to make a difference like she would have.”
Emely Calderon, a senior in the Central Unified School District has goals to make a difference and said, “Take that chance. If you don’t take it, then you never know what the outcomes are gonna be.”
Emely will be the first in her family to finish high school.
“I’ve had a lot of help, I’ve had a lot of different mentors throughout my high school, my years of high school, that really pushed me forward, that inspired me.”
She’s graduating with an over 4.0 GPA and will finish in the top ten of her class of 245 students and the foundation took notice.
“Emely, so we’ve gone through the process, you know, multiple, multiple applications. And Thank you for applying. Congratulations, you definitely hit us with a point and you are a lucky recipient of the Janessa Ramirez scholarship, so congratulations,” said Joe Doyland of the Foundation for Central Schools.
Emely is planning to go to Grand Canyon University in Arizona to become a neonatal nurse and while speaking in Spanish, says words of thanks to her parents and her Spanish teacher.
The Foundation for Central Schools allocates $15,000 annually to the Janessa Ramirez Scholarship fund.