2021 Amazing Kids - Woodburn Independent - Woodburn
School: North Marion High School
Hometown: Hubbard, Or
Why she is Amazing: The North Marion senior
and student body president always finds time to help others.
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Clear leadership through crucial times
One of the many challenges posed by the pandemic era in schools has been the challenge of conducting student government.
At North Marion High School, ASB senior Student Body President Julissa Ramon made sure that task happened — and that was fortunate for the Huskies’ student representation.
“Ramon is our ASB student body president. Her first year here at North Marion she was the freshman class president. She was also her sophomore class president and she was her junior class president,” said ASB advisor Ty Brack. “Quite frankly, I couldn’t imagine having a better person in this position in the time we are in now.”
That’s not to say the task has been easy.
“Yes, this has definitely been the most challenging year for student government,” Ramon said. “We’ve had countless numbers of zoom meetings and it has been a challenge keeping everyone engaged. There has been a lot of texting and letting everybody know they are not alone through all this.”
Ramon — who was selected in April as Woodburn’s 2021 “Amazing Kid” by Pamplin Media Group — said the key to keeping student government intact was keeping in contact with all the school’s representatives and providing leadership through the pandemic.
“I had talked to other students (from other schools) who said they didn’t do student government this year because of COVID,” she said. “That really surprised me because they were from (Class) 6A schools. We are a 4A school and we’re making it work.”
Ramon has a knack for making things work. In addition to student government, she is involved with choir, jazz band, Future Business Leaders of America, Key Club, MEChA, National Honor Society and a variety of volunteer activities. She enjoys that high level of activity while still maintaining a 3.8 grade point average.
“She is an awesome student who has done amazing things over the last four years,” North Marion High School Principal DeAnn Jenness said.
Ramon’s most amazing contributions may have come through her volunteerism, especially when the need is crucial. She’s been involved in blood drives, raising money for holiday food and gifts to help families in need, fundraisers for the American Heart Association, breast cancer awareness, and more recently, helping supply provisions for families impacted by the February ice storms.
“Ramon has been great. I have been so impressed with her willingness to help with community projects and reaching out to others in the community, as well as students when they are in need,” NMHS Family Outreach Advocate Rafael Pelaez said.
“She has always been receptive to opinions and wants to help make others feel included and appreciated,” Pelaez added. “She is a dynamo and one well worth the recognition from your honor. You couldn’t ask for a better candidate.”
The daughter of Celeste and David Ramon, Ramon affirmed that she feels it is vital to keep her fellow students involved, a task that has been more daunting during pandemic closures and distance learning. “Right now, it’s challenging for everyone — students and families. They have gone through the COVID (hardships) and some have brought them down. I have tried to adapt by staying positive and encouraging, and I think that help others too,” Ramon said. “I get down, too, and sometimes wonder how we are going to get through this. But I feel like being encouraging and helping others get through things, keeping positive, is important.”
Ramon said she finds encouragement from role models, including her parents and many of her teachers, people who strike her as selflessly nurturing her growth and that of her peers.
With graduation on the horizon, Ramon plans to attend the University of Portland next fall. Her long-term plans are aimed at medical engineering.
“I’m kind of interested in medical engineering; that’s what I am going toward right now,” Ramon said. “Researching medical subjects interest me, but I’ve also just thought about engineering. So those are the two things that popped up to me while exploring and finding what I enjoyed.”
That said, she realizes that situations and circumstances can change — especially after everything that has happened over the past year — and she realizes adjustments are part of life. “If something happens, there is always a plan B,” Ramon said.