LUCHA helps Daniel Fabela Ramirez

K-16’s LUCHA ™ program helps Daniel Fabela Ramirez transfer school credit from Mexico to the U.S.

11/13/2013

Only three years ago, Daniel Fabela Ramirez moved from his home in Zacatecas, Mexico, to a new life, a new culture and a new language in Houston, Texas. Not to mention, he began attending school in the U.S. for the very first time. “School was very different in the U.S.,” said Daniel. “It’s more of a necessity; while in Mexico, if you don’t want to go, you don’t have to go. But school was always important to me.”

With the help of LUCHA™, a program of CIE’s K-16 Education Center, Daniel’s transition to school and life in the United States was made easier. Through careful transcript analysis, LUCHA was able to help Daniel receive credit for equivalent courses taken in Mexico and correct grade level placement in his new school. Daniel recently graduated high school in the top 8% of his class, ranking 49th out of 722 students! Congratulations, Daniel!

Where are you from originally?
“I’m from Mexico – Zacatecas, in the middle of Mexico. My dad and I moved to Houston, Texas, three years ago when I was 15. My mom and my two younger sisters, Melissa and Melanie, joined us a couple of months later.”

What was it like when you first came to Texas?
“It was hard, because I had to adapt to the culture and the language at the beginning. I knew it was going to be hard, but not impossible. Starting from zero in having a new life is hard, but worth it.”

How did you learn about LUCHA?
“My academic counselor at my high school – MacArthur High School - talked with me about it. Initially, they put me in 9th grade, even though I was supposed to be in 11th grade. But then LUCHA provided a transcript analysis that transferred my credits and I was able to accelerate my courses and I was put in the correct grade and classes.”

What was the single greatest assistance you received from LUCHA?
“LUCHA was helpful to me in that I was able to get credit for courses I had already taken and be placed in the right grade in my new school. Those were the best benefits. I was really happy that I didn’t have to re-take any classes that I took in Mexico!”

What are your plans for the future?
“I recently started attending college at Lone Star College North Harris and I plan on transferring to Sam Houston State University to complete my education. My goal is to earn a master’s degree in education. I want to be a teacher and teach Spanish. I like the idea of helping someone learn something they don’t know.”

What would you say to any students transferring to a U.S. school from Mexico regarding LUCHA?
“They should know about LUCHA. They will have more opportunities to succeed because of LUCHA. They need to know that if they are required to re-take a course they’ve already taken, they should ask their counselors about it. I really benefited from the services I received from LUCHA. Because of LUCHA, I graduated on time. School could have been a very frustrating experience for me without those services, and I would recommend any student transferring from Mexico to ask about LUCHA at their new school.”

To learn more about LUCHA services, email the LUCHA team at lucha@austin.utexas.edu.

 

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