Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Janessa Ramirez Remembered with Scholarships and a New Mural
gvw_nancy_price
By Nancy Price, Multimedia Journalist
Published 3 years ago on
May 21, 2021

Share

The memory of Janessa Ramirez is honored each year with scholarships awarded to Central Unified high school seniors. On Wednesday, when the seven scholarship winners lined up, Janessa’s smiling face was just behind them.

A new mural painted on the side of the Granville Teague Community Center on Polk Avenue in west Fresno contains an image of Janessa and some of her favorite things, including a purple teddy bear. The wall art was created by Dulce Upfront muralist Samantha Lazcano.

Other muralists, artists, Janessa’s family members, friends, and members of the Central Unified community participated in “paint night” events.

Lazcano and others who worked on the mural were on hand Wednesday as the scholarship winners were recognized.

The seven students — Isabella Aguila, Damien Casares, Thomas Fuentes, Je’Kob Jones, Elisha Mata, Arielle Romero, and Kaitlyn Ybarra — received $2,500 scholarships because of their academic excellence, leadership, and hard work outside the classroom.

Janessa was a fourth-grader when she was struck down by a stray bullet fired during a gang dispute in January 2015. To honor and remember her, the Foundation for Central Schools established the Janessa Ramirez Scholarship program. Wednesday’s award ceremony was the fifth annual event.

More Scholarships on Tap

Foundation executive director Serena Dohi said the number of scholarships has grown over the years, and the goal for next year is to have 10 $2,500 scholarships and seed a four-year California State University scholarship.

Mayor Jerry Dyer, who was chief of police when Janessa was killed, recognized her mother, Stacey Gonzales, in the audience and commented that he wished they could have been brought together under different and less tragic circumstances.

Janessa’s death shocked and united the community, he said, leading police, gang members, and other community members to gather together in prayer.

With gang violence again on the upswing in Fresno and across the nation, the mural of Janessa on the side of the community center should be a constant reminder of “how fragile life is, to know how precious our children are, and to do all we can to protect them and to make sure that gang violence is not allowed or tolerated in our city because bullets do not have eyes,” Dyer said.

” … This mural means so much to this community as a reminder that we must constantly be vigilant against gang violence. And it will be a constant reminder of how much we all loved Janessa.”

At left, Stacey Gonzales, Janessa Ramirez’s mother, stands with April Henry, executive director of Highway City Community Development, at Wednesday’s Janessa Ramirez Scholarships award ceremony. (GV Wire/Nancy Price)

DON'T MISS

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

DON'T MISS

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

DON'T MISS

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

DON'T MISS

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

DON'T MISS

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

DON'T MISS

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

DON'T MISS

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

DON'T MISS

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

DON'T MISS

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have To Execute It’: FUSD Board President

DON'T MISS

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

UP NEXT

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

UP NEXT

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have To Execute It’: FUSD Board President

UP NEXT

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

UP NEXT

Full Jury and 6 Alternates Seated in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

UP NEXT

Wired Wednesday: How High Will the Price of Gold & Silver Go?

UP NEXT

Lamborghini’s Race Evolution: From Tractors to the Track

UP NEXT

Prop 47 Reformers Send Nearly a Million Signatures to Sacramento

UP NEXT

BTC Scammy Scams, Impact of Blockchain on Global Markets: Crypto The WonderDog Show

UP NEXT

Barbara Corcoran: 1% Interest Rate Drop Will Send Housing Prices ‘Through the Roof’

UP NEXT

Juror Dismissed From Trump Hush Money Trial. Prosecutors Seek to Hold Former President in Contempt

Nancy Price,
Multimedia Journalist
Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

15 hours ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

1 day ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

1 day ago

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

1 day ago

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

1 day ago

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have To Execute It’: FUSD Board President

1 day ago

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

1 day ago

Get a 3D First Look at Merced’s High-Speed Rail Station Design

1 day ago

California Court to Decide on Transgender Ballot Measure Wording

1 day ago

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

1 day ago

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

You might have noticed that the tangy taste of pickles has taken over more than just the condiment aisle. From pickle-flavored popcorn to pi...

14 hours ago

14 hours ago

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

14 hours ago

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

14 hours ago

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

15 hours ago

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

1 day ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

1 day ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

1 day ago

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

1 day ago

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend