Traumatic Childhood Experience Inspires Manor College Grad to ‘Be a Hero’

Hailey Ramirez (Little Flower Catholic High School for Girls) graduates with her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice.

Hailey Ramirez

In the middle of the night, 10-year-old Hailey Ramirez heard the loud thuds of a hammer as it smashed through her grandmother’s front door. 

The drunk man walked through and began yelling for her grandmother. He angrily threw items across the room. By the time Ramirez came down the stairs, she saw the man with a long knife at her grandmother’s throat. 

“Go upstairs!” her grandmother shouted through panicked breath. 

Ramirez did. She ran back up the stairs and called the police. Within a few minutes, police arrived and de-escalated the situation without violence. 

“We were just kids shaking in a room upstairs,” Ramirez said. “I only knew to call the police.” 

The incident left a lasting impact on Ramirez’s life. In the short term, the trauma left her scared to fall asleep for the next month. Once that subsided, Ramirez had one signature goal – to become a police officer to be the hero for others as once was done for her.

“The police came that night and saved the day,” Ramirez said. “I want to be that hero for others like those officers were that night for me.” 

Ramirez, now 22, takes the first step in that journey on May 16. She will graduate from Manor College with her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. After graduation, Ramirez hopes to join the Police Academy.

Ramirez first discovered Manor College through her high school counselor. After doing some research, she fell in love with Manor’s affordability and diversity. 

“It was a big factor for me because I come from a minority background,” Ramirez said. “You could see the diversity from Manor’s Instagram. I knew I wasn’t going to be looked down upon here.” 

She added, “The affordability was a huge help because I pay out of pocket for college myself. Grants, like the Madeleine Dean Congressional Grant, helped take a lot of money off my final bill.” 

At Manor College, Ramirez found time to be the Student Senate Treasurer, the Vice President of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Rotaract, a Student Representative on the Code of Conduct Hearing Committee, and a Presidential Ambassador.

To financially support herself, Ramirez became a security guard at Springfield Township High School. It’s an opportunity to blend her financial needs with her ultimate career goals.

“I learned a lot from walking the halls in the high school,” Ramirez said. “You get to know the children from Kindergarten to 12th grade and find the best ways to keep them safe.”

Ramirez said she’ll miss the environment and the professors the most after graduating. 

“It’s the kind of safe place that I can leave my bag open and my car unlocked and know that no one is going to go into it,” Ramirez said. “That’s how much I trust this environment.” 

She thanked her professors, like Criminal Justice professor Brian Haughton and Dean of Business, Education and Professional Studies, Mary Sims, for helping her balance full-time work and school responsibilities. 

“You’re cared for when it comes to the professors,” Ramirez said. “Brian, he just listens and understands. He’s always giving us resources for careers. Mary does the exact same thing. She reached out to me when my job at the high school opened. It’s not like other schools. Manor is different.”

Meet our Graduates

Diego Peralta

Brooke Strassle

Eddie Fortesque

Neysha Medina

Yelyzaveta Mazepa

Wandell Scott

Keith Donofrio

Hailey Ramirez

Tamara Ellerbe

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