Like father, like son

Father, son both earn diplomas in 2017

Like father, like sonBy BRIAN COSNER, News Review Staff Writer

Burroughs High School senior Edgar Martinez will walk across the stage with hundreds of his peers tonight to celebrate graduating high school – a milestone familiar to most Americans. But just days before, Edgar’s father Cesar Martinez was also granted his diploma, an accomplishment he had to postpone by decades while working to support his family.

“Tonight as I look out at everyone, I see my son who will graduate from Burroughs on Friday,” he said as he spoke during the Adult School Graduation last week.

“I know we have both had our own struggles in school, and I am proud that we have shared our education goal together.”

Cesar, a father of four, was born in Mexico. He attended school there, but it became too expensive to continue so he dropped out to find work.

“It was hard to get a job to support just myself,” he said.

“When I got married, I had to think of how I could support my family. It’s difficult down there in Mexico. I came here because I wanted to have a better life.”

Cesar came to the states in 1998 where he worked at Carriage Inn, Farris’ Italian Gardens, and eventually Kristi’s restaurant where he is now General Manager. It took him five years of working long hours to make enough money to bring his family here from Mexico.

“I had many goals I wanted to reach, so my education had to wait,” he said. “Some people in America do not understand that its free education is so good. Now that I have earned one diploma, I plan to go on to college and earn another. Having an education will open many more doors. I hope to run my own restaurant business one day.”

Cesar revisited his education in August of 2014. While still also learning English, he finished his high-school courses in about 18 months.

“I took algebra online, so I also had to learn how to use computers, which was very new to me,” he said.

Edgar is Cesar’s second child to graduate from Burroughs. Since moving to the states, he and his wife also have an 8-year-old daughter and 5-year old son.

“It’s a lot of work, but not impossible,” said Cesar of continuing his education while working and supporting his family. “I wanted to be an example for my kids. I am very proud to get my diploma.”

Pictured: Recent graduate Cesar Ramirez, hanging out with his soon-to-be-graduate son, Edgar. -- Photo by Laura Austin

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Cesar Ramirez exemplifies dedication. We trust his hard work and sacrifice will pay off, and wish him great success in the future! — Ed.

Story First Published: 2017-06-02