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Dr. Joanna Ramirez Named New Executive Director at Founding Site in Minnesota

Dr. Joanna Ramirez will lead College Possible Minnesota as organization doubles down on efforts to support the college aspirations of Minnesota students from low-income communities

Joanna RamirezST. PAUL, MN. (Oct. 29, 2021) – College Possible, a national nonprofit that has worked to improve equity and access in the college admissions process for more than 20 years, today announced the appointment of Dr. Joanna Ramirez as executive director of College Possible Minnesota.

“Dr. Ramirez understands the vast, but often latent potential and aspirations of learners from low-income communities in Minnesota and she also brings deep expertise and energy to bear on our vision and promise,” said Julio Vargas-Essex, College Possible Minnesota board chair. “Her leadership and partnership will be essential as we work to evolve and find innovative ways to ensure every student in Minnesota can go as far as they aspire to, despite any systemic barriers that may deter them from persisting from high school to college.”

Dr. Ramirez most recently served as the interim executive director of College Possible Minnesota and vice president of site leadership at College Possible’s national office. In her role, she advised and coached College Possible executive directors on regional growth strategies and facilitated a community of practice for executive directors sharing cross-site learning and innovations.

“This role will enable me to turn my attention even more fully to doing the work that needs to be done to support and stimulate a community that I love,” said Dr. Joanna Ramirez, executive director of College Possible Minnesota. “I look forward to working with the amazing staff, board members, and donors to help students across the state of Minnesota achieve their goals.”

A Saint Paul resident for the past 16 years, Dr. Ramirez also serves on the Executive Committee of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits board of directors and is active in LatinoLEAD (a local group of Latinx leaders) and part of a cohort of Adaptive Leaders for Race Equity. Prior to joining College Possible, Dr. Ramirez was selected as a Bush Leadership Fellow and served as the vice president of business solutions with the Metropolitan Economic Development Association. Dr. Ramirez earned her Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Texas, Austin.

College Possible is one of the largest college access and success organizations in the country, providing one-on-one near-peer coaching to nearly 25,000 students from low-income backgrounds at 200 schools in eight major cities across the country. Since its founding in 2000, College Possible Minnesota has helped thousands of Minnesota students from low-income backgrounds navigate the college admissions process, through the support of near-peer coaches, enabling them to successfully gain access to a college education, along with the knowledge and skills to enter into the workforce upon graduation.

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