Wrestler’s FLAME burns bright after inspiring weekend

July 21, 2011
By Chris Saunders

ramos_steven-20100902-9752Last weekend, Steven Ramos found himself sitting in a classroom at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. A speaker asked the listeners if they knew anyone younger than themselves. When everyone’s hands went up, the implication was clear to Ramos — there will always be people for him lead.

Ramos, an NC State sophomore and member of the wrestling team, spent four days at the Olympic Training Center for the U.S. Olympic Committee’s F.L.A.M.E. (Finding Leaders Among Minorities Everywhere) program. It selects minority college students — some of them student-athletes — from around the U.S. and provides them with an educational program about leadership.

Ramos said his academic adviser approached him about the program in the spring. Ramos jumped at the opportunity. “I was always on the right path,” he says. “There’s always room for growth. This weekend definitely triggered growth in my leadership ability.”

Ramos and the other 29 students in the program attended workshops and listened to speakers, including Olympic and Paralympic athletes and USOC leaders. Other speakers included people talking about their personal, professional or athletic triumphs.

“The most important thing I learned was that we all have potential, but that potential doesn’t do anything unless you use it,” Ramos said. “If you use it with hard work, you’ll achieve all of your goals.”

Ramos is primed to apply those lessons as he continues his volunteer work for NC State’s M.A.G.I.C. (Maximizing Academic Growth in College) program. Ramos, who says his father has been his greatest guide in his life, serves as a mentor to college freshmen, talking with them about strategies for being successful in college.

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