A Kentucky State University graduating senior pushed through her college closing and medical issues to earn her spot in line for the December commencement.

Shawnté Ramirez, a psychology major from Lexington, said Kentucky State welcomed her when her original school closed.

“I loved the atmosphere, so I stayed for my degree,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez said Dr. Tierra Freeman-Taylor, chair of the School of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, inspired her to finish her degree.

“She stood up for me and guided me the whole way through this journey we call college,” Ramirez said. “She has seen me through the good and the bad and even when I felt like I had no energy to keep going due to medical issues.”

Ramirez said her best advice to students still working toward their degree is to not give up.

“Utilize all of the help around you because, honestly, the professors here truly love what they do and want us to succeed,” Ramirez said. “At the same, keep communication open. They are not mind readers. They can and will not now know that you’re going through hard times if you don’t make them aware.”

Ramirez added that taking responsibility is another building block to success.

“The right road is long and it’s tough, but the results can last a lifetime,” Ramirez said. “The things truly worthwhile in life are never easy to achieve. That’s why not everyone has it. Stick with it and don’t give up. If I can achieve this, anyone can.”

Ramirez and other graduating seniors will cross the stage during commencement Dec. 13.