EDINBURG, Texas – Many times going to college means struggling to get by, especially for a poor student living along the border.
For Brandon Ramirez that struggle is now over. Brandon recently graduating from UTRGV with a degree in Manufacturing Engineering. It is a big deal because he did it by riding his bicycle all the way from Matamoros every day for five years. Each day he would get on his bike at 5:00 a.m. come across the border to the UTRGV Brownsville campus and take a shuttle to the Edinburg campus. That is roughly a three hour trip one-way.
Six hours on the road each day just to get his education. That’s why Brandon says it was more than just a bike.
“It symbolizes effort and a lot of work and passion. It’s more like a sentimental journey and a personal value to me. The bike has been with me for all my university career. For me and my parents it means a lot, because in Mexico almost no one has the opportunity to study outside. For my parents to see me get a diploma here, it’s the best thing that can ever happen to them.”
On graduation day Brandon gave his bike to one of his professors as a symbol of gratitude and respect. He plans on getting his first car this summer.