For the past five years, Alice and Johnnie Ramos have opened their home to children and adolescents with diverse backgrounds and challenges as Mentors with Pennsylvania MENTOR.
“The love and support that the Ramos family has for children is felt as soon as you walk into their home,” said Samantha Heller, clinical lead at Pennsylvania MENTOR and Alice and Johnnie’s nominator.
The Ramos home is full of love and family. Two teenage daughters, two adopted teenage sons, their 6-year-old niece and three siblings in foster care, the youngest being one year old, currently fill the house. Alice and Johnnie’s two older sons live nearby, often adding to the count. Together, they are one big family in Alice and Johnnie’s eyes, no matter what their background.
“A lot of the kids who come to us may look pretty tough on paper, but not a lot scares Alice and Johnnie,” added Samantha. “Alice and Johnnie understand that behaviors are a type of communication, purposeful and a result of something that has happened.”
Alice’s experience working in a daycare and Johnnie’s childhood growing up in a rough neighborhood add to the Ramos’ desire to help children and not shy away from challenging behaviors. Their two daughters have autism, and they have worked for many years with their adopted sons to overcome trauma, adding to Alice and Johnnie’s arsenal of experience and expertise.